Ask the Vet: What Does a Vet Tech Do?
So what does a vet tech do?
Veterinary technicians support the everyday functions of a veterinary practice, and here at our school, our Barpal Veterinary Center functions as a full-service practice and surgery center. Our vet tech and vet assistant support our two veterinarians, the rest of the veterinary team, and our medical operations by observing the dogs, preparing them for exams or surgery, assisting in surgery, providing care and first aid, collecting and testing lab samples, taking X-rays, giving medications, shots, and treatments, keeping records, communicating results, and helping out in every way possible to keep our Vet Center running smoothly.
To become a certified veterinary technician in Florida, a vet tech must graduate from an AVMA accredited veterinary technician program, and then must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), which is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (ASVSB). Whew! That’s a lot of acronyms, but each one represents a set of rigorous skills and standards that ensure the vet tech is prepared.
Staff member Kevin Jones began his career here in our original puppy kennel (now Puppy Academy) where he worked in the whelping area as a canine care technician (CCT). Next he was promoted to a veterinary assistant in our Vet Center. He’s also studying to become a vet tech at St. Petersburg College and is on the way to becoming certified.
“In my job, our doctors are really into the learning process,” Kevin shares. “I do a lot of hands-on work because they are very open to learning on the job.” He and the other staff members work with “clients”—people—and “patients”—including puppies, dogs in training, clients’ service dogs and pets, and dogs in class being matched with people with vision loss and veterans with disabilities. “I honestly love working with all kinds of different people,” he says. “I like hearing what puppy raisers are doing, and one of my favorite things to do is visit with the class while they are here. These people are in such high spirits; they just love being here. I like seeing the people we are helping and knowing I’m a part of that process. I think our mission is really special! I’ve never had something so big to reach for before.”
If you’re interested in working with dogs here on our campus, whether as part of the veterinary team or as a future guide or service dog trainer, the first step is to apply for a position as a canine care technician. We’re often hiring, so join us!