Must-have skills for a veterinary technician position

Being a veterinary technician requires a broad range of skills.If you love working with everything from kitties and puppies to bunnies and guinea pigs, a veterinary technician position may be perfect for you. With this job, you may work in a local veterinary clinic or you might be assisting with the care of livestock and other farm animals. Either way, a veterinary technician plays a vital part in keeping animals healthy and happy. But before you consider a veterinary technician degree, ask yourself if you have any of these necessary skills required for this particular profession:

Communication

While you may know all there is to learn about animals and their health, you must know exactly how to effectively relay that information to coworkers and clients alike. This job is just as much about the people as it is the animals. It’s important to be able to explain the information about an animal’s condition in a way that others can easily understand.1 However, you must also be able to quickly respond to instructions from the supervising veterinarian.

Empathy

Many pet owners think of their furry friend as an important and loved member of the family. Therefore, if their animal is in pain or ill, they are going to need comfort from their vet technician. As a vet tech, you must be able to understand your client and empathize with them while still maintaining the ability to carry out the necessary medical duties.1 Even though the pet may be the one in need of care, this doesn’t mean that the owner and his or her feelings should be neglected. After all, if your canine or feline companion was in danger, you would want someone there to empathize with what you’re experiencing.

Detail oriented

As a vet tech, you’re likely going to be getting a large amount of information thrown at you at once. This is why being detail oriented is so crucial. You have to focus on maintaining accurate records,1 as a single inaccurate report can result in serious injury or even death to an animal. Even the smallest details are just as important as the big picture.

Physical stamina

With this profession, you’re going to be on your feet for a majority of the time. You must have the physical stamina to remain on your feet for long hours and still be able to give full attention to your patients.2 You should also be able to lift and move both the animals you’re treating and the equipment.

Technical skills

Veterinary technicians are required to use a variety of technical machinery on a daily basis, which can include taking and developing X-rays, cleaning equipment and entering data into computers using spreadsheet programs2. An ability to quickly learn these things is a must.

1 Vet Tech Guide, “The Important Qualities of a Vet Tech,” January 2, 2013. http://www.vettechguide.org/the-important-qualities-of-a-vet-tech/
2 Global Post, “Skills Required for a Veterinary Assistant” http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/skills-required-veterinary-assistant-4478.html