Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Veterinary Technicians: When Love for Pets is a Given
BUT, is love really all you need? Becoming a veterinary technician is a rewarding profession in which one gets to help save lives and bond with clients. It is also one of the few positions around where you have to go from somber euthanasia rooms to happy new puppy rooms in the blink of an eye. It takes a special person to be a veterinary technician. Perhaps even more difficult than becoming a veterinary technician, is finding highly qualified technicians to join our medical team!
The skill level among the veterinary technician field varies widely. There are some candidates that apply for veterinary technician positions who have done little more than clean floors at another veterinary facility, and amazingly, they are hired to work as technicians in clinics... even potentially monitoring surgery for your pet! Scary thought, huh?
One of the most recent candidates for our technician position had been a nurse at an area practice for 5+ years. We were excited to interview the candidate, as skilled technicians are few and far between. Upon interviewing, we found that this candidate had administered vaccines, performed dental cleanings, and even monitored every single surgical procedure at that practice. Exciting!
When questioned further, the candidate did not know how to take a blood pressure, the word EtCO2 meant nothing, and they were unsure what high and low temperatures would be alarming during a surgery. Turns out, the way they were taught to monitor a surgery was to "listen for the beeping" and "alert the doctor if anything was off". The machine didn't even monitor blood pressure or temperature.
Unfortunately, this is all too common. This candidate did not even have the skills that Animal Hospital of Rolwett requires for the most mundane cleaning tasks at our clinic. Certainly, anyone monitoring surgeries in our clinic has passed rigorous testing (both written, verbal, and practical) and are retested annually to ensure abilities are increasing. We have staff who take additional paid continuing education in anesthesia on their own. We have registered technicians who have gone to college for their trade. This is not a requirement and not all technicians are created equally. We have an amazing team of nurses who are highly skilled in all areas, including anesthesia.
So, while you may find a cheaper spay or neuter elsewhere… is it really worth it to risk the life of your pet to save a few bucks? You pay for skilled veterinary staff and anesthesia protocols that are tailored to your pet. We are not a one-stop shop or an assembly line. We only perform two or three surgeries per day so we can dedicate the appropriate time, staff, and equipment to ensure the safest and best surgery possible for your pet.
Just another way Animal Hospital of Rowlett refuses to skimp on healthcare for your pet.
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