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What Is a Veterinary Technician?

This is a question I often get asked when I talk about my career.

A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) has a very important role in any veterinary hospital. They are there to provide the nursing care required to meet your pet’s needs and keep them as comfortable as possible.

Many people think that being a veterinary technician is all about playing with puppies and kittens, but that is a just a small part of the job. Like human nurses, RVTs have many responsibilities in the hospital and not every day is an easy one. There are many happy and exciting days, but this career can also be emotional and exhausting.

RVT Roles in the Hospital:

  • Client care and communication
  • Blood collection
  • Urine analysis
  • Radiology
  • Fecal testing
  • Anesthesia induction and monitoring
  • Surgery preparation and assisting in surgery
  • Dentistry: Full Mouth X-Rays, scaling and polishing teeth, and assisting the veterinarian with extractions.
  • Pharmacy: Filling medications for pets to go home with.
  • Cytology: Looking at ear and skin slides under the microscope to check for yeast and bacteria.
  • Emergency and critical care
  • Intravenous fluid calculation and administration
  • Drug calculations
  • Caring for hospitalized pets, medication administration, bathroom breaks, clean up and feeding.
  • Sterilizing surgical equipment
  • Bandage and splint applications
  • Suture removal
  • Analgesia

And many more!

To become an RVT, you must complete the two-year Animal Health Technology program and receive your diploma. There are two locations in BC where this can be done. There are also distant learning options available as well.

Written by Campbell River Veterinary Hospital

Floyd Wilson

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