Certified Veterinary Technician
Assists the veterinarian that examine pets and other animals for signs of illness or injury; Assists in procedures and surgeries and provides routine and specific care. Administers treatments under the supervision of the veterinarian.
- Always be in position and prepared to work by the start of each scheduled shift.
- Maintain accurate personal time clock records.
- Enter and exit the practice through the employee entrance, but routinely visit the practice through the client entrances, picking up trash or feces from the parking lot, sidewalks, or entryways as needed.
- Maintain a professional appearance while at work, including clean and unwrinkled uniform, jacket and appropriate shoes. Change clothing daily as necessary to look professional and avoid carrying odors.
- Smile and maintain an even, friendly demeanor while on the job.
- Perform job tasks efficiently without rushing.
- Promote a positive attitude among team members.
- Handle stress and pressure with poise and tact.
- Be willing and available to stay late or through breaks, when needed, to assist with emergency or critical-care patients.
- Show respect to clients, team members, and animals (alive or deceased) at all times.
- Effectively promote preventive health care, nutrition, and pet health insurance to clients. Support fellow staff members when speaking to clients.
- Have the physical strength and ability to stand for an entire shift when needed, and be able to lift pets and objects weighing up to 50 pounds without assistance. Assist in lifting patients weighing more than 50 pounds.
- Maintain a list of tasks and engage in productive work during slow periods.
Assist other employees as needed. Don’t wait for co-workers to ask for your assistance.
- Stock hospital supplies and pharmaceuticals as needed.
- Ensure low medical supplies are added to the depleted supplies/order list.
- Regularly check for outdated supplies. Remove and replace them as directed by management.
- Assist in hiring new team members by advising candidates of openings, participating in working interviews to evaluate their personalities and skill levels, and providing your opinion to those hiring.
- Maintain constant vigilance regarding open doorways that could allow pets to escape from the facility.
- Maintain strict confidentiality regarding clients and patients for whom the practice provides veterinary services.
- Be prepared to handle any pet or facility emergency that may arise, including dog or cat fights, choking or strangling animals, and facility fire or weather-related emergencies. Follow all contingency plans.
- Follow established opening and closing procedures to ensure the security of patients, staff, data, revenue, inventory, and facility.
- Follow an established cleaning schedule, always ensuring your duties are complete before leaving for the day.
- Supervise and direct kennel staff.
- Direct on-the-job training of technical and kennel staff.
- Maintain your personal veterinary technician certificate, license, or registration.
- Participate in your performance appraisal, and, as requested, in those of others.
- Participate in all staff and training meetings.
- Keep up with new developments in the field by reading journals and attending continuing education. Attend off-site CE as required by the practice manager or as required to maintain your license.
- Know phone functions, including hold, intercom, transfer, forward, and three-way calling.
- Answer the phone by the third ring when receptionists are preoccupied or unavailable.
- Pick up calls on hold when needed.
- Assist reception and veterinary assistants with client payments, which dr. seen information, and euthanasia client care.
- Possess sufficient knowledge of animal husbandry and basic medicine to answer routine questions or refer calls to appropriate colleagues.
- Cordially greet incoming clients and patients.
- Update client/patient records as needed.
- Use client and patient names during conversations.
- Counsel clients on financial and admittance policies, pet medical procedures, and options that require consideration.
- Answer client questions and ensure all admittance paperwork is properly completed.
- Obtain client signatures on consent forms.
- Inform clients of recommended services for their pets.
- Provide clients with accurate and thorough information about over-the-counter products.
- Understand and explain internal and external parasite products as well as diets, dental products, and behavior management tools.
- Know where brochures and client-education materials are stored. Provide clients with handouts and brochures regarding relevant medical conditions, surgeries, immunizations, internal and external parasites, pet insurance and diets.
- Always give estimates for services to be performed on all patients.
Advise clients of significant changes in policies or services since their last visit.
- Explain delays that affect clients. Ensure the comfort of clients and patients during their waits. Offer water, refreshments, etc. Offer to reschedule appointments as needed.
- Lead clients and pets to exam rooms or throughout the hospital.
- Identify in-patients with cage information and neck identification bands.
- Use Smart Flow to track patients through the hospital.
- Assist clients with unruly or unrestrained pets.
- Ensure all dogs are leashed when in the hospital.
- Ensure team members restrain pets instead of owners.
- Admit patients to the hospital. Provide counseling and compassion for clients, answer their questions unless it is clear that the attending doctor should do so, and ensure that all admittance paperwork is properly completed.
- Provide clients with handouts and brochures regarding relevant medical conditions, surgeries, immunizations, internal and external parasites, pet health insurance, and diets.
Pet Identification Accountabilities
- Scan new patients and strays for microchips, tags, and tattoos. Identify and record microchip numbers, tattoos, and or patient markings in patient records.
- Communicate with clients about the various pet-identification systems available.
- Assist clients in registering pet identification information in the practice computer system and in the appropriate national database.
- Transfer incoming patients to appropriate wards and ensure their comfort.
- Identify patients properly.
- As patients are admitted, build a surgery, procedure, and/or treatment schedule for the approval of the attending doctors.
- Direct Smart Flow organization each as patients are admitted for day-procedures, surgeries, or hospitalization.
Patient Discharge Accountabilities
- Coordinate patient transfers with reception and veterinarians.
- Prepare medications and prescriptions for dispensing according to practice standards and as directed by the doctor.
- Dispense Medications: When dispensing medications, discuss administration or application of products and potential side effects with owners as instructed by doctors or licensed technicians.
- Accurately invoice clients from charges in Smart Flow, patient charts, and estimates.
- Discharge patients: Instruct clients on the care of patients at home, timing of recheck appointments, and potential adverse effects of surgeries, procedures, or medications.
- Assist grieving clients and comfort them when needed. Be familiar with the grieving process. Always be sensitive to background chatter or conversations that could exacerbate the anxieties and grief clients experience during euthanasia or death of their pets.
- Provide clients with memorials of their deceased pet (e.g., locks of hair, paw prints, returned collars, leashes, and other accessories.)
- Handle angry or grieving clients in a calm, reassuring manner. Escort complaining or angry clients from the reception area to a separate, closed room where their complaints may be heard privately. When necessary, enlist the help of a doctor or manager to resolve the complaint.
Medical Record Accountabilities
- Understand the medical record system and terminology
- Know all possible locations for storage of records of hospitalized patients.
- Update medical files for hospitalized, surgical, or incoming patients.
- Check on immunization or reminder status of arriving pets.
- Properly use bins or slots assigned to doctors, staff, pharmacy, and lab.
- Understand and use special record notations, including male, female, aggressive, caution, no service, or inactive.
- Record doctors’ notes, all client communications and everything done to the patient in computer records.
- Make notes in patient files of relevant phone or in-person conversations with clients, and place your initials after such entries.
- Verify and/or witness client statements regarding procedures, including euthanasia.
- Check files for completeness of notes, charges, callbacks, and reminders before refiling. Ensure records include current laboratory tests, procedure results, current patient weights, immunizations, diagnoses, and treatments.
- Ensure all paper records are scanned into the computer record.
Exam Room Accountabilities
- Possess sufficient strength and assertiveness to effectively restrain patients and ensure the safety of clients and personnel.
- Clean and straighten, disinfect, and remove sources of offensive odors in exam rooms to prepare for incoming patients. Check floors, walls, doors, and counters. Sweep or clean to remove hair, body fluids and dirt.
- Perform TPR with all patients.
- Answer client questions and educate clients about basic pet care.
- Using aseptic procedures, draw up vaccines and injections that doctors will administer.
- Administer vaccines subcutaneously and intramuscularly when required.
- Dispose of sharps objects according to policy and OSHA standards.
- Perform suture removals, nail trims and anal gland expressions as required.
- Assist the doctors with routine exam-room procedures.
- Record doctor findings during medical examinations.
- Keep a notebook in your pocket to record accurate instructions, particularly regarding the preparation and administering of medications to be dispensed.
- Keep exam rooms stocked with medical supplies.
- Inform the practice manager or doctors immediately of all bite or scratch wounds. Take appropriate medical action and fill out required reports.
Nursing Care Accountabilities
- Track, use or store comfort items brought by clients for hospitalized patients.
- Place clean, soft bedding in cages as appropriate.
- Help kennel techs with washing, drying and storing bedding materials when possible.
- Maximize patient comfort with a gently and reassuring manner.
- Monitor patients for vomit, blood, urine, and feces in the cage and clean, save and/or note unexpected incidents in charts.
- Monitor patient behaviors and note potentially aggressive behaviors. Use caution when handling aggressive or potentially aggressive pets. Request assistance when needed.
- Monitor changes in patient conditions. Alert doctors to significant changes.
- Follow isolation procedures. Prevent contact between contagious animals and others. Use designated protocols and products as directed.
- Alert doctors to notable pathology identified during patients’ exams.
- Accurately assess patients’ temperatures, pulse rates, and respiratory rates.
- Walk dogs on a double leash. Ensure they are restrained and under your control at all times.
- Assess hospitalized patient temperatures, pulse rates, respiratory rates, and respiratory qualities, and record data in appropriate records.
- De-flea and de-tick patients as required and according to hospital protocols.
- Provide medical grooming.
- Clip hair in a manner that minimizes hair removal and clipper burn.
- Use warning stickers and notation on cages as appropriate.
- Prior to discharge, remove patient catheters, clean patients so that no body fluids are detectable, and bathe or groom patients prior to transferring them to clients.
- Ensure cages are disinfected and cleaned before next use.
Patient Treatment Accountabilities
- Understand the mechanics and application of basic standards of asepsis.
- Maintain IV catheters so fluids flow freely; flush and clean as needed.
- Administer IV, IM, SQ and oral medications and note in charts.
- Assist in the application of wound dressings and treatments.
- Swab, clean flush and treat ear canals without causing trauma.
- Trim nails to the quick without causing bleeding. stop bleeding by using styptic pencils, powder or other means.
- Understand how to stop bleeding using styptic pencils, powder, or other means.
- Monitor and maintain urinary collection bags. Record urine production in charts and cage cards.
- Identify a patient’s level of pain and possible causes of pain. Understand the medications and methods used to control pain.
- Provide IV and SQ fluid therapy to patients. Maintain aseptic conditions. Understand the different types of fluids and additives used in the practice. Calculate, add, and administer medications through fluids. Calculate and administer proper fluid flow rates to patients.
- Monitor, adjust, and maintain IV infusion pumps.
- Administer routine enemas.
- Apply wound dressings and treatments. Maintain a clean site. Understand the applications for wet, dry, and wet-to-dry dressings.
- Apply bandages in a manner that ensures that the bandage protects and/or limits mobility and remains properly applied. Cover and maintain bandages as needed to preserve function and cleanliness.
- Use cotton swabs to clean ears, bulb syringes to flush them, curettes to remove debris, and catheters to irrigate ear canals. Administer ear treatments without causing trauma, and teach clients how to complete this task.
- Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures, minimizing stress to patients and ensuring the safety of patients and team members. Safely and effectively apply and use restraints such as muzzles towels, gloves, and cat bags.
- Assist kennel tech and veterinary assistants in cleaning and maintaining kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
- Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
- Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
- Assist kennel techs and veterinary assistants in cleaning, maintaining, and sterilizing instruments or equipment.
- Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.
- Perform routine laboratory tests or diagnostic tests, such as taking or developing x-rays.
- Maintain test kits under proper environmental conditions.
- Perform venipunctures using patient cephalic, saphenous, and jugular veins in a manner that minimizes trauma to patients and injury to veins.
- Aseptically place cephalic, saphenous, and jugular intravenous catheters without causing patient trauma.
- Perform needle aspirates and stain them as requested.
- Draw blood for transfusions. Type-match blood samples. Perform blood transfusions: set up filters for whole-blood administration, oversee administration of blood and blood products, and monitor patients for transfusion reactions.
- Set up and record diagnostic multi-lead ECG tracings.
- Make effective smears from vaginal swabs.
- Obtain ear swabs and cultures for analysis.
- Express anal sacs.
- Properly implant microchips and test their functionality.
- Assist with euthanasia procedures. Hold off veins and release pressure at appropriate times when catheters are not used.
Emergency Patient Accountabilities
- Control bleeding using pressure bandages and tourniquets.
- Provide immediate assistance to any patient in a life-or-death situation.
- Apply temporary bandages or splints when needed.
- Provide basic life support, including CPR, airway maintenance, and oxygen therapy.
- Control Bleeding using pressure Bandages and tourniquets.
- Know where to find the emergency drug kit. Make sure products have not expired, and understand the basic uses for these drugs.
- Provide fluid and pharmacologic therapy under veterinary supervision.
- Provide cooling baths and/or enemas for heatstroke patients.
- Understand the paperwork and procedures of outside laboratories.
- Maintain all laboratory test kits and reagents under proper environmental conditions.
- Maintain centrifuges, microscopes, and chemistry analyzers.
- Make slides of body fluids. Air-dry and stain them as directed.
- Make blood smears with properly feathered edges to ensure accurate interpretation.
- Evaluate blood smears to accurately assess platelet numbers, red and white cell morphology, and differential white counts. Recognize blood pathogens.
- Maintain stains and other supplies to ensure the best results. Prevent contamination of stains and replace them when ineffective or contaminated.
- Use proper stain techniques to maximize the diagnostic capability of prepared slides.
- Perform urinalysis. Properly use and record data from urine dipsticks. Measure specific gravity. Evaluate urine sediments for crystals, cells, and other material.
- Perform fecal examinations, including direct and flotation procedures.
- Perform and evaluate skin scrapings and ear smears.
- Complete routine ELISA tests, such as heartworm and feline viral tests.
- Perform CBCs and differentials.
- Set up, centrifuge, and read hematocrits.
- Use refractometers or chemistry analyzers to evaluate total protein levels of serum or other fluids.
- Set up and read blood glucose test strips.
- Collect and prepare samples for bacterial and fungal cultures. Evaluate in-house cultures.
- Evaluate bleeding/clotting times.
- Maintain quality control by running control samples and periodically testing in-house results against results from an outside laboratory.
- Develop or locate and maintain equipment and instrument maintenance logs.
- Understand aseptic principles and apply them to surgical patients, instruments, equipment, and rooms.
- Properly scrub hands and arms for surgical cleanliness, and aseptically gown and glove yourself when called to assist or “scrub in.”
- Know the names of instruments and where they are stored.
- Prepare the surgery suite for incoming patients.
- Bring surgical patients to the surgical prep area. Ensure that you have the correct patients by checking cage information, affixed identifications, and patient markings in the record.
- Check surgery schedules and patient records to determine procedures to be performed.
- Anticipate surgeons’ needs for assistance, instruments, and patient monitoring, and treatments.
- Stimulate and care for puppies and kittens removed by cesarean section.
- Maintain controlled-substance logs with patients’ names, doctors’ names, types and amounts of drugs used, amounts of drugs remaining, and your signature.
- Keep controlled drugs secured to meet Drug Enforcement Agency and state board specifications.
- Update patient records with drugs administered, procedures performed, and patient status during surgeries and recoveries.
- Prepare patients for surgery. Trim nails. Clip surgical fields with straight margins. Minimize tissue trauma. Properly scrub and prepare surgical fields. Maintain clean fields when moving patients.
- Attach cardiac and respiratory monitors, pulse oximeters or ECG monitors to anesthetized patients.
- Properly position and align patients for surgery.
- Maintain body temperatures of patients.
- Assist surgeons with aseptic gowning and gloving.
- Monitor patients during surgery. Alert doctors to changes in condition.
- Monitor patient recovery. Protect patients from aspiration and hypothermia. Deflate cuffs and remove endotracheal tubes as soon as gag reflexes return.
- Clean operating rooms and equipment after use according to hospital protocol.
- Clean floors and counters in surgical prep and recovery areas, treatment rooms and wards after use.
- Direct kennel techs in washing, sterilizing and storing of endotracheal tubes using techniques that prevent the spread of disease.
- Direct kennel techs in cleaning surgical instruments by and/or ultrasonic cleaner.
- Direct kennel techs in operating and maintaining the autoclave.
- Direct kennel techs in packing and autoclaving instruments. Using lists of instruments and photos as guides, ensure packs contain the proper numbers and types of instruments and that they are labeled with dates and types of packs. Apply pressure and temperature sterilization tape and /or monitors, and verify effectiveness after autoclaving.
- Assist veterinary assistants and doctors with restraint and positioning of patients for radiographic procedures.
- Minimize radiation hazards. Use protective equipment and wear exposure badges whenever exposing radiographs.
- Understand x-ray positioning techniques.
- Maintain radiographic, developing, and shielding equipment to maximize patients’ and employees’ safety. Record maintenance data.
- Properly measure patients for effective translation to radiograph machine settings.
- Develop, use, adjust, and maintain a radiograph technique chart that minimizes waste caused by erroneous exposures.
- Position patients to obtain diagnostic-quality radiographs.
- Consistently place right and left markers on the table.
- Understand and use digital radiograph filing systems.
- Wear personal dosimeters as recommended by the dosimeter provider.
- Know the names of surgical and dental instruments and their storage locations.
- Understand and use proper attire when operating dental equipment, including masks, eye protection, caps, and protective apparel such as a gown or scrubs.
- Recognize significant dental and gum disease, record it in patient records, and bring it to the attention of doctors.
- Perform dental scaling and polishing procedures without traumatizing the gingiva.
- Perform fluoride treatments.
- Maintain proper dental records for each patient.
- Be sufficiently familiar with the anesthetic machines to operate, maintain, and repair them.
- Routinely check and maintain machines.
- Check anesthetic hoses for leaks and internal contaminants.
- Ensure that the anesthetic scavenging system is functional.
- Understand the differences between closed- and open-circuit administration of anesthetic agents, adjustments needed for oxygen flow rates, and anesthetic percentages used for each.
- Regularly check the level of inhalant anesthetic in vaporizers. Add anesthetic as needed.
- Check pressures in oxygen tanks regularly and replace tanks at appropriate times. Check regularly for leaks in oxygen hoses and couplings.
- Connect oxygen tanks to anesthetic machines without damaging gaskets. Maintain spare gaskets and replace them if they are damaged.
- Test endotracheal tube cuffs for leaks prior to use and replace them.
- Know the volume of air that should be used to inflate various-sized cuffs to pressure levels that prevent leakage without traumatizing tracheas.
- Understand the various anesthetic agents used for different patients.
- Administer pre-anesthetic drugs to surgical patients as directed. Record times of administration.
- Pre-oxygenate surgical patients that are at particular risk for oxygen deprivation as directed.
- Administer IV, IM, and inhalation anesthetic agents safely.
- Estimate endotracheal tube diameters for patients. Safely pass endotracheal tubes and ensure proper fits.
- Use a laryngoscope or other light source as needed to pass tubes.
- Check patients for proper respiratory function during intubation to ensure that tubes are in the trachea and not the esophagus.
- Monitor surgical patients by tracking anesthetic depths, heart rates, respiratory rates, temperatures, pulse oximetry, and ECGs during anesthetic procedures.
- Adjust gas anesthesia for each patient to safely maintain proper surgical planes. Administer additional injectable anesthetics within safety guidelines as needed to maintain desired surgical depths.
- Use palpebral, toe pinch, and corneal reflexes to assess and maintain necessary surgical planes.
- Maintain anesthetic log books so as to be in compliance with state board standards.
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