Veterinarians are the faces we often see when we go to the animal clinic - they handle diagnosing and caring for our beloved pets, and they possess the medical knowledge to take care of the specific needs of the animals in their care. However, veterinarians are not the only people involved in animal clinics.
If veterinarians are the doctors of the animal world, veterinary technicians can then be called the nurses of the animal world. Their roles are very similar in nature - 'nurses' that support the 'doctor' as he or she goes about the business of healing. As such, they handle a number of activities that plays a quiet but essential role in a veterinarian's job of taking care of animals:
Veterinarians have a lot to worry about, especially if they work in a well-established and widely-known animal clinic. Their diagnoses are not simply based off memory or quickly scanned when they look over an animal - careful scientific procedures need to be done, and these scientific procedures are often very routine and mind-numbingly repetitive.
This is where veterinary technicians come in: they handle the more routine jobs that common visitors to the animal clinic do not see on a regular basis. Working in the laboratory, they conduct the routine tests, operations and studies that are essential to a veterinarian's job.
While Veterinary technicians do much routine work, these jobs are not something that an ordinary person off the street can do. Urinalysis, dental prophylaxis, taking tissue and blood samples are just some of the technical roles that veterinary technicians are required to fill.
This is precisely why veterinary technicians are held in high regard" despite the less public nature of their job, they fill in a myriad of highly specialized and highly technical duties that add meat and depth to a veterinarian's diagnosis and treatment.
Like their counterparts in the realm of human medicines, veterinary technicians have their fair share of dirty work: handling blood, urine and stool samples, cleaning cages, risking scratches and bites from some pretty angry animals and even euthanizing abandoned and unwanted animals.
And it is activities like euthanizing animals that make the job all the dirtier: the emotional strain of having to euthanize animals is painful even if the process is painless for it, while having to tend to abused and overly-stressed animals sparks stabs the heart of any decent animal lover. All this adds up time, and a professional veterinary technician must learn to deal with issues like these as they rear their ugly heads.
Routine work, technical work and dirty work: these three primary functions of a veterinary technician dictate his or her day to day duties. As such, they are the invisible hands that assist veterinarians as they do their jobs; they are the quiet lab staff that gives the vet results to work with; they are both caretakers and executioners of neglected animals.
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