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5 Different Vet Tech Responsibilities and Their Details

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People adore animals and bring them into their homes to care for and provide a loving companion for the whole family. While you enjoy interacting with your pet, you may want to have a bigger impact on the lives of animals. Becoming a veterinarian may sound like a lofty goal, as a lot of schooling is required and a huge commitment you may not be ready for. There is, however, another path to take. This is the role of a vet tech.

To become a doctor, a veterinarian must get a pre-med bachelor’s degree and an additional four years of veterinary medicine. A vet tech gets to work alongside the doctor as an assistant. Still, it only needs to complete a two-four year post-secondary program to obtain a diploma, associate or bachelor’s degree for licensing and certification, depending on where you reside.

Are you wondering if this is the right career for you? Do you know the vet tech at your clinic? Are you thinking about becoming one?

Here are the duties carried out daily by these professionals, and it is challenging and rewarding work. They will ensure you and your pets are cared for and be a direct link to your veterinarian as they assist in this vital work with our beloved animals.

Vet Responsibility #1: Patient Examinations

A vet tech will see a variety of animals, including:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Rabbits
  • Birds
  • Gerbils
  • Rats
  • Ferrets
  • Tarantulas
  • Hedgehogs
  • Reptiles
  • Farm animals
  • Primates
  • Marsupials

A vet and their staff can see any animal someone takes care of.

When someone brings their pet, the staff must determine the problem. This is vital to find out what is wrong before proceeding with any treatment. This physical examination can detect any abnormalities before they become a major problem and check for organ dysfunction and other issues.

A vet tech will take a patient’s signalment and history, including recent problems and record all the exam results for the veterinarian and pet owner. Often, the exam will be under the supervision of the veterinarian. Vaccinations and medications will also be administered as prescribed by the veterinarian.

Vet Responsibility #2: Surgery Prep

A vet tech is hands-on and part of the team when there is a need for pet surgery. Among the vet urgent care duties, they will:

Talk to Pet Owners

People must be informed about the surgical procedure and pre and post-surgical care.


This is a common duty for a vet tech as they will sedate and monitor an animal throughout the procedure as various doses are required for various animals. They are also there when the animal awakens and check for post-surgical complications.

Assistance in Surgery

You will be cleaning the surgical area and assisting in any procedures, including handling of instruments, suction and tissue retraction.

Vet Responsibility #3: Take Samples

In the traditional sense, we can’t communicate with animals when they are ill, but their fluids can do the talking.

Regular testing is done by way of sampling:

  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Stool

A vet tech will take these samples and procure the results for the veterinarian to review and diagnose. Scheduling and tracking samples from multiple animal patients involve the organization and keeping updated with current industry standards and practices involving analyzing methods and testing kits.

Vet Responsibility #4: Diagnostic Testing

Further analysis of patients may require diagnostic testing. This can be:

  • Histology
  • Serology
  • Toxicology
  • Microbiology
  • Cytology
  • Clinical chemistry
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound

A vet tech usually will perform or assist with this type of testing and then track the results to give to the veterinarian.

Vet Responsibility #5: Improve Key Competencies

Beyond your training to be a vet tech, you should possess the following skills and qualities for this type of work.


A vet tech has a lot of balls in the air at once, and you need to be able to successfully manage them all. There will be many animals to be taken care of and lots of administrative tasks.


Both verbal and non-verbal communication is a constant requirement as you deal with pet owners and the rest of your staff. You will need to communicate directions and instructions and follow through on procedures and directions from your veterinarian daily.


Animals need the care of the owners and the vet staff; you are a crucial team member. You will work alongside your veterinarian as you collaborate with them. It is a heavy teamwork environment as you interact with staff and patients to coordinate appointments and scheduling.


Most of all, you must be compassionate to the animal you are working with and their owners. Constant care and support are needed to deal with distressed, injured, sick and sometimes dying animals.

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