Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Description

Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

Tasks

  • Observe the behavior and condition of animals and monitor their clinical symptoms.
  • Maintain controlled drug inventory and related log books.
  • Administer anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitor animals' responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted.
  • Care for and monitor the condition of animals recovering from surgery.
  • Perform laboratory tests on blood, urine, or feces, such as urinalyses or blood counts, to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of animal health problems.
  • Administer emergency first aid, such as performing emergency resuscitation or other life saving procedures.
  • Prepare and administer medications, vaccines, serums, or treatments, as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Fill prescriptions, measuring medications and labeling containers.
  • Collect, prepare, and label samples for laboratory testing, culture, or microscopic examination.
  • Take and develop diagnostic radiographs, using x-ray equipment.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for surgery.
  • Clean kennels, animal holding areas, surgery suites, examination rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Take animals into treatment areas and assist with physical examinations by performing such duties as obtaining temperature, pulse, and respiration data.
  • Provide veterinarians with the correct equipment or instruments, as needed.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments, equipment, or materials.
  • Maintain laboratory, research, or treatment records, as well as inventories of pharmaceuticals, equipment, or supplies.
  • Prepare animals for surgery, performing such tasks as shaving surgical areas.
  • Give enemas and perform catheterizations, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, or gavages.
  • Maintain instruments, equipment, or machinery to ensure proper working condition.
  • Provide assistance with animal euthanasia and the disposal of remains.
  • Supervise or train veterinary students or other staff members.
  • Provide information or counseling regarding issues such as animal health care, behavior problems, or nutrition.
  • Dress and suture wounds and apply splints or other protective devices.
  • Monitor medical supplies and place orders when inventory is low.
  • Perform a variety of office, clerical, or accounting duties, such as reception, billing, bookkeeping, or selling products.
  • Bathe animals, clip nails or claws, and brush or cut animals' hair.
  • Perform dental work, such as cleaning, polishing, or extracting teeth.
  • Conduct specialized procedures, such as animal branding or tattooing or hoof trimming.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities

Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Lay Titles

Animal Technician
Certified Veterinary Technician
Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Clinical Researcher
Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)
Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)
Surgery Technician (Surgery Tech)
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Laboratory Technician (Veterinary Lab Tech)
Veterinary Nurse
Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech)
X Ray Operator

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$14.56 hourly, $30,290 annual.
Employment (2008):
83,350 employees