October is a time to celebrate many things – the return to school, welcoming cooler weather, Halloween, and some very special people. That’s right, I’m talking about veterinary technicians and the rest of the veterinary support staff.
October is also known as RVT (registered veterinary technician) month here in Ontario and is generally a time to recognize these amazing people and the work they do with animals.
For the larger part of it, most of the credit for helping a family’s beloved pet goes to the veterinarian. What many people don’t realize is all of the hard work, effort, and skill that goes on behind the scenes from these essential caregivers for our animal patients. Veterinary technicians wear many hats and are often doing multiple jobs that are more broken down in other healthcare fields. The point here is they are multi-taskers to the highest extreme – Anesthesia, x-rays, phlebotomy, nutritional consultant, dental hygienist, after surgery pet snuggler… You name it, they do it. These are the people who make it possible for your pet to get the best care. Yes, the veterinarians do the exams, surgeries, and prescribe medication, but we could not do our job without veterinary technicians.
Veterinary technicians are college-educated professionals who are doing the dirty work, but often don’t get the credit they deserve. Not to be forgotten are the veterinary assistants (VAs) and client service representatives (receptionists) who are often helping them. Many of these valuable team members don’t last long in the profession due to a variety of factors including physical injury, low compensation (when it comes down to it, vet med is never valued as much as human medicine, but that’s a discussion for another time), and the emotional toll a job in the veterinary field takes on all of those in it.
I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing RVTs and VAs over my last 15 years in veterinary medicine. We have an awesome team where I work, and I’d be lost without them. It’s like a nice little family.
So next time you thank your veterinarian, don’t forget about all the other people working with them to do the best for your pet.
If there’s something you’ve often wondered or questions you have about regarding pets, let us know by email at [email protected].
*Please note that specific medical questions about your pet cannot be addressed and you should speak with your personal veterinarian.
Dr. Ryan Llera is a small animal veterinarian at the Kingston Veterinary Clinic. Though originally from Florida, he married a Canadian (who is also a vet!) and they share their home with two cats, two dogs, two horses, and a rabbit. Dr. Llera also contributes writing to various other animal and veterinary related blogs. You can find more of his writing at www.DRRYANLLERA.com, or see what else he is up to on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Disclaimer: All columns are personally written and my opinion, and may not necessarily reflect those of current or former employers.