The continuing growth of the veterinary care sector has resulted in a robust and increasing demand for veterinary technicians. Whether they are working in a local veterinary clinic or assisting with the care of livestock and other production animals, vet techs are a vital part of the American veterinary system.
Without the assistance of qualified vet techs, veterinarians and other animal caregivers would find it extremely difficult to provide the care that most American’s have come to expect for their beloved companion animals.
However, becoming an effective vet tech requires a wide variety of personal and professional qualities that will allow the vet tech to work with his or her coworkers and clients alike. Many of these qualities will be developed during the vet tech’s training, but others are personal qualities that even a new student will possess.
Important Personal Vet Tech Qualities
A vet tech must have a number of personal qualities in order to effectively work with animals and their owners. These qualities include the ability to effectively communicate with coworkers and clients, a strong sense of empathy for animals and their owners alike, and a detail-oriented outlook on his or her profession.
No matter their specialty or experience, a vet tech must be capable of effectively communicating with his or her coworkers and clients alike. When dealing with fellow veterinary professionals, the vet tech must be able to accurately relate all information about the animal’s condition, as well as quickly understand and respond to instructions on the part of the supervising veterinarian.
In addition, when interviewing clients, the vet tech must be able to obtain any important information about the animal’s condition. This can be difficult as in many cases the vet tech will have to work with distraught animal owners.
However, developing the communication skills needed to calm distraught individuals so that they can explain how the animal came to be injured or ill is a vital part of becoming an effective vet tech.
Developing Empathy for Animals and their Owners
Many individuals consider their pets to be a part of the family, and grant them nearly as much love and affection as they do the human members of the family. When a pet is ill, or in the worst case, dying, these individuals are often extremely distraught and in need of comfort. A vet tech must be able to understand and empathize with their pain, while still maintaining the ability to carry out his or her duties.
In addition, vet techs will commonly deal with animals that are in pain or frightened. The vet tech must also understand the animal’s feelings, even if the animal is currently behaving in a hostile manner due to its condition.
Even animals that are physically fit may be frightened by the smells and sounds present in the clinic, requiring the vet tech to behave in an empathic and calming manner to comfort the frightened animal while still ensuring the safety of the veterinary staff.
Maintaining a Detail Oriented Outlook
Another important quality of a successful vet tech is a detail-oriented outlook. Vet techs handle a large amount of information and it is vital that they focus on maintaining accurate records at all times. A single inaccurate report or improperly administered injection can result in serious injury or death to the animal under treatment. Furthermore, the veterinarian will depend on the accuracy of the vet tech’s reports when considering what type of treatment to use for an injured or ill animal.
For that reason, vet techs must ensure that they are always accurate down to the smallest detail in their observations and reports. The vet tech must make certain to always maintain up to date records and ensure that his or her coworkers are fully appraised as to the condition of the animals under the vet tech’s care. Finally, when working with pet owners, the vet tech must be certain that they understand any instructions they are given, such as how to administer medicine that is being sent home with the pet.
Professional Vet Tech Qualities
A vet tech’s professional qualifications are usually developed during his or her education. By attending an accredited vet tech program, the student can learn those skills that will be vital to providing the best possible quality of care. This is true whether the student is focusing on becoming a generalist vet tech or intends to become a specialist after graduation. Finally, most accredited programs have a strong focus on the ethical and personal qualities needed to become an effective vet tech.
Obtaining Continuing Education
One of the most important qualities of the skilled professional vet tech is a desire to remain current with the state of the art in veterinary medicine. While many states have a minimum amount of continuing education (CE) hours that the vet tech must obtain in order to renew his or her license, most qualified vet techs will obtain more CE units than are required. This will allow the vet tech to understand how to provide the most up to date care possible in cooperation with the supervising veterinarian. In addition, CE units can help position a vet tech to enter a veterinary care specialty or otherwise advance in his or her field.
Legal and Ethical Qualities
Another area where professional vet techs can demonstrate a high quality of care is in remaining knowledgeable about the legal and ethical implications of their profession. By doing so, a vet tech can ensure that he or she is providing the type of care that is both appropriate and authorized for a vet tech to provide. This can be especially important, as many states have placed strict limits on the types of care a vet tech can provide if they are not being directly supervised by a vet.
By working to develop their personal and professional qualities, vet techs can help provide excellent care to America’s animals, as well as reassuring pet owners that their beloved companions are in good hands.
Furthermore, by developing their work and personal skills, vet techs can improve their professional options in the field of veterinary medicine and obtain an excellent and personally rewarding job.