cat veterinary technician woman holding cat

When your cat goes to the veterinary hospital, chances are she’s going to spend much more time with veterinary technicians or other veterinary staff members than with the veterinarian. Veterinary technicians are educated in the latest medical advances and skilled at working alongside veterinarians to give cats the best medical care possible. They are an integral part of your cat’s medical team.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, Inc. (NAVTA) has designated October 9 through 15 as National Veterinary Technician Week. “Celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week gives veterinary technicians the credit they deserve. It also provides an opportunity to teach the public about what veterinary technicians do on a daily basis,” says Sandy Sponaugle, NAVTA Communications Director.

I think the term “technician” is a bit of a misnomer, as it conjures up someone who works on technical equipment or does practical work in a laboratory. It doesn’t take into account the much larger aspect of what veterinary technicians do, which is care for their furry patients. For that reason, I’ve always preferred the term veterinary nurse, because it more accurately reflects what these unsung heroes of the veterinary profession do day after day.

In addition to being skilled professionals, they’re also compassionate caregivers. They’re the ones who will sit with your cat after surgery and make sure that she wakes up from anesthesia safely. They’re the ones who will keep your hospitalized cat comfortable. They’re the ones who treat your cat like she’s a member of their family, too.

So this week, honor the veterinary technicians who take care of your cat when she has to go to the veterinary hospital. As a former veterinary hospital manager who also worked as a technician, I can tell you that brownies and other treats are always appreciated as a token of your gratitude…

Do you have a story about how a veterinary technician helped your cat? Please share it in a comment.

Photo: istockphoto

8 Comments on Celebrate the veterinary technician in your cat’s life

  1. YAY! What a dynamite post and it is great to see those that do so much be acknowledged!
    We ADORE our vet techs!
    Thankfully Cody is the only one who ever had to spend the night but one of the Vet Techs told me when he was there that they called him the “Cuddle Bug”. They said he only wanted to be cuddled and they happily indulged him!
    We are blessed that our Vet has such a fabulous team!

  2. I use to like the term Veterinary Nurse better than Technician and while I agree that “technician” is not accurate, I’m not sure Nurse is better. Human nurses don’t administer anesthesia, take radiographs, calcualte meds or run a labortory. I’ve been feeling like Veterinary Practicioner may be the best term for what we Vet Techs actually do!

    • Marilyn, I agree that nurse doesn’t accurately reflect everything vet techs do, either. I’m assuming you’re thinking along the lines of a nurse practitioner in human medicine with your suggestion – that’s probably much closer than nurse, although it doesn’t address the care and concern part of what vet techs do so well.

  3. I agree, technician sounds like limiting term. Our vet, who writes our weekly blog Q & A (and teaches vet techs) has the most wonderful tech/assistant who works at his mobile clinic. Traveling around from location to location in clinic on wheels has its own challenges. When our feral was trapped this summer it was Lisa, the vet tech who scrambled finding creative solutions to successfully capture our wild boy.

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