Essay: Why I Love Being a Vet Tech
Think becoming a veterinary technician might a good career decision for you? Read why one vet tech loves her job!Published October 16, 2012
I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home Mom for years. Then as I sent my oldest son off to college, with my twin sons not far behind, I wondered what this next stage of my life would be. Here I had this opportunity to do whatever I wanted. So I remembered what someone once said, and what I always told my children: find your passion. What was that thing you loved most when you were 10 or 12 years old?
For me, it was animals. Ever since I was a young girl I loved animals, and even thought of becoming a veterinarian. After doing a bit of research online, I came to find out that there was this career called veterinary technician. I had no idea. Yes, I knew there were people “in the back” that helped the veterinarians when we had our visits with our pets. But I never really knew what they did.
Interested in learning more about this newly discovered career, I enrolled in a vet tech program at SUNY Ulster in Kingston, NY that was about an hour away from my house. I completed the program, graduating with an Associate in Applied Science degree, and took and passed the national licensing exam.
For the past five years now I have been a Licensed Veterinary Technician working at Flannery Animal Hospital in New Windsor, NY. Looking back now, I can honestly say that becoming a vet tech was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.
To be sure, the career of a vet tech isn’t a career in which your fortunes will be made. That is unless you count the animals you meet and the people you grow close to as your riches.
As a vet tech I do dentals on cats and dogs. Yes, we provide dental care. Did you know that by the time most animals are three years old that 80% have some form of periodontal disease? I also assist in surgery cases.
In this line of work, vet techs act as if they are a nurse, but for animals. We assist the doctors as well as maintain and monitor anesthesia during certain procedures. We start and maintain intravenous catheters, and give medications both by mouth and injections. Vet techs also assist the doctors in exam rooms by holding the animals, drawing blood and running the bloodwork. We provide emergency and critical care at our facility that is open 24 hours a day seven days a week to provide the best care for our community’s pets.
It is a difficult profession as well, and is not always cuddling with the puppies and kittens. It can be long days on your feet for hours. The worst part, as you may expect, is when you are involved with euthanasia. It is such a difficult time for families. We empathize, sympathize and often cry along with pet parents as they say their final farewells. That is the hardest part of this job, and that will never get any easier. It takes its toll. We understand that these beings are not just pets, but are integral members of the family.
As exhausting as this profession can be, though, it is the best job I have ever had. Providing nursing and surgical care, bandaging, providing pain relief, starting IVs, drawing blood, and yes, even cleaning up pee and poop, is all in a day’s work. Other than being a Mom, I found my passion, and that is why I love being a vet tech.
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