Since March we have heard a lot about “essential workers”. We’ve had the opportunity to think a lot about those around us who perform jobs we simply can’t do without. We’ve watched mail carriers, hospital workers, medical professionals, grocery store workers, and law enforcement be praised and acknowledged for doing things that we simply can’t do without. So it seems fitting to honor and talk about those wonderful people who keep veterinary clinics afloat. The people who are essential to the running of most veterinary clinics, and yet rarely receive the accolades they deserve. Our Certified Veterinary Technicians.
Have you ever wondered about our workflow here at Highland Pet Hospital? While our COVID protocols have changed it a little, the general idea is the same. A veterinary assistant receives the patient, gets a medical history, and enters all the information in the computer. A veterinarian then does a physical exam, comes up with a diagnostic plan, interprets the diagnostics, prepares a treatment plan, and communicates with the patient’s owner. Our technicians, with the help of the veterinary assistant, execute the diagnostics and treatment. This can involve drawing blood, placing an IV catheter, expressing anal sacs, looking at cytologies, staining slides, trimming nails, running bloodwork, taking x-rays, administering medications, keeping IV pumps running, calling owners, filling medications, and administering vaccines. Our technicians are also responsible for making estimates, keeping equipment running, ensuring that workplace safety is followed, and keeping track of medication refills. Sound like a lot? It is! We ask them to keep the workflow running smoothly, and from our client’s perspective, they do this largely behind the scenes!
On a typical day you will see our technicians stationed in a variety of positions, and throughout the week they will hold each of these positions.
- Surgery- our surgery technician is responsible for administering sedation, placing an IV catheter, intubating and prepping the patient for surgery, and for monitoring anesthesia. The surgical technician is also an advocate for the patient, making sure the surgeon is aware when the temperature is getting low, monitoring changes in blood pressure, and making adjustments to maintain a safe anesthetic plane.
- Hospital Admit- our HA technician is a jack of all trades. This person monitors and executes treatments on hospitalized patients. This sometimes means assisting in minor procedures, monitoring critical patients, drawing up and administering medications, and running a variety of lab procedures. They also handle the bulk of incoming communications for owners, and make sure the Doctors have all of their incoming lab work results for the day.
- Exam- our exam technician organizes all of the regularly scheduled routine exams for the day. This means drawing up vaccines, printing rabies certificates, and drawing blood. They also handle all appointments made with a technician. This includes appointments such as anal sac expressions, nail trims, blood draws, and vaccine boosters.
- Prompt Care- the prompt care technician oversees all appointments being seen through prompt care. Frequently this means drawing blood and running lab work, as our prompt care patients are generally sick and requiring diagnostic procedures. Ear cytologies, skin cytologies, bloodwork, and urinalysis are common diagnostic procedures. They may also be called on to assist in minor procedures such as unblocking a cat, laceration repairs, and bandage changes.
We love our technicians. They are the backbone that keeps our hospital running smoothly. They provide the stability and organization that is required to keep up with the busy pace in the hospital. They are animal lovers, animal caretakers, and animal advocates. They are Veterinary Technicians! Shoutout to Casey, Abby, Melissa, Lisa, Jessica and Kolleen! We couldn’t do it without you!