Veterinary Technician

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Job Description: Veterinary Technician

Position Summary

A veterinary technician directly handles inpatient and outpatient care, working hand-in-hand with veterinarians. The technician assists in exam rooms by taking patients’ history, vital signs and weight; preparing vaccines; collecting samples and running diagnostic tests; providing client education; and assisting with animal restraint. Technicians also may see their own appointments for procedures such as suture removal, nail trim, anal gland expression, vaccine administration when a doctor exam is not required, long-term medication monitoring testing, surgery admission and discharge. Technicians directly impact doctors’ productivity, client service and patient care. Technicians play a key role in communicating with clients in person and by phone for follow-up care and patient monitoring.

Reports to: Technician Supervisor and/or Practice Owner(s)

Job Responsibilities

Technical Duties, 80%:

  • Care for hospitalized animals, including cage cleaning, exercising, feeding, observing signs of illness and controlling the spread of parasites and infectious diseases
  • Assist veterinarians in the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery
  • Restrain patients for procedures performed by other technicians or doctors
  • Assist veterinarians in outpatient exams by taking histories, vital signs and weights as well as providing client education
  • Administer medications, treatments, vaccines and blood products to patients as prescribed by veterinarians
  • Collect specimens for culture or microscopic examination
  • Dress wounds and apply bandages, splints and other protective devices
  • Perform IV catheterization, jugular and cephalic venipuncture
  • Use and maintain IV pumps (new hires should know this within 30 days of hire)
  • Take, develop and properly log radiographs. This should be accomplished within 30 days of hire
  • Assist veterinarians with humane euthanasia
  • Be able to input medical history into AVImark, be familiar with how things are charged, know when to charge for certain things (i.e. do not charge for nail trims/anal gland expression with annual exams) (should be able to input charges correctly within 60 days of hire)
  • Provide nursing care for in-hospital patients
  • Conduct pre-admission exams and discharge hospitalized patients when needed
  • Perform client callbacks- Document in Avimark with Date Stamp
  • Maintain proper care and medication administration of boarding and hospitalized animals and assist kennel staff
  • Maintain legally defensible medical records in cooperation with veterinarians
  • Assess change in animal status
  • Trim nails
  • Document Client Communications in Avimark
  • Clean ears
  • Express anal glands internally
  • Ensure hospital patients and boarding pets go home well groomed and in an appropriate medical state

Lab

  • Responsible for in-hospital lab testing such as intestinal parasite screens, pre-anesthetic testing, senior screens, complete blood count, urinalysis, heartworm, tick-borne diseases, Feline Leukemia, FIV, cytology, etc. (new technicians should be able to do this confidently no later than 30 days after hire)
  • Collect and prepare samples
  • Report diagnostic testing results to veterinarians- make sure results are downloaded daily and added to list in Doctors office for call back.
  • Maintain quality controls and record keeping on in-house lab equipment
  • Complete proper sample preparation and paperwork for outside diagnostic lab tests- IDEXX, etc.
  • Be able to identify via microscopic examination: intestinal parasites, external parasites, yeast and bacteria on skin/ear cytology, urinalysis sediment (crystals, cells, etc). This should be accomplished within 60 days of hire
  • Document Results from cytology, cultures, urinalysis, fecal into avimark

Surgery

  • Admit patients scheduled for surgery and dentistry
  • Keep surgical materials stocked
  • Prepare gown and surgical packs
  • Check oxygen lines and waste gas scavenger system; turn off scavenger system after surgical procedures are completed
  • Prepare rebreathing or non-rebreathing systems based on weight of surgical patient.
  • Prepare surgery suite for surgery
  • Prepare instruments; know type of surgical instruments required for specific surgeries
  • Assist veterinarians with patient restraint
  • Assist veterinarians with induction/intubation or perform induction/intubation (new hires should be able to do this within 60 days of hire)
  • Surgical preparation of patient
  • Monitor anesthesia closely with monitoring equipment such as pulse oximeter as well as manual check for depth of anesthesia
  • Help maintain anesthesia machine
  • Assist veterinarian performing surgery
  • Monitor patients waking up from anesthesia; assist with treatment if patient has reaction to anesthesia
  • Clean surgery suite and surgical instruments after each procedure following hospital sterilization protocols
  • Keep accurate anesthesia/surgical medical records
  • Ensure hospital patients go home well groomed and in an appropriate medical state
  • Fill out appropriate Discharge sheet with instructions for owners before discharge.

Dentistry

  • Clean, scale and polish teeth using dental equipment and hand instruments
  • Perform fluoride treatments
  • Record dental problems in medical records and report them to veterinarians for instructions
  • Assist veterinarians performing oral extractions or other dental procedures
  • Complete dental report cards in AVImark 

Inventory

  • Unpack deliveries, reconcile against packing slip/invoice and restock supplies
  • Restock shelves and drawers in exam rooms and treatment area
  • Note any medical items that are running low/out on pad in pharmacy or dry erase board in xray

Technician Daily Duties

  • Technicians rotate between being the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave that day. This is notated on the schedule with an *. If you have an * by your time that means you should be at work by 6:50am and are the last one to leave that night. There are 2 technicians per day with this *. You must discuss with the other technician to see who stays last. There should never be anyone in the clinic by themselves, which means you need to wait on the receptionist to finish her duties before you can leave.
  • Opening procedures consist of: feeding all hospitalized patients, walking all hospitalized patients, cleaning their cages, give all morning medications, turn on the x-ray machine and computer, unlock the drug box, take the lasercyte out of standby mode, perform any treatments needed to hospitalized patients, then start on any drop offs, pull and run blood for any surgeries
  • Technicians are responsible for pulling up the boarding records every morning and adding any charges for meds given, baths or nail trims, etc. Checks to make sure charges for any other services performed are correct in computer. Date Stamp- Control D (you are responsible for documenting and charging for the treatment/service that you perform)
  • End of day procedures consist of: vacuuming all areas of hospital (surgery, treatment area, exam rooms, pharmacy, and lobby), mopping all areas, administering evening medications, setting up cages for clinic pets (not before 5pm), walking all hospitalized dogs, feeding and watering if needed, making sure oxygen is turned off, all controlled drugs are put back into drawer and controlled drug box is locked, xray machine and developer is turned off, microscopes are turned off and covered, CBC rocker is turned off, blood samples thrown away or stored in refrigerator, all cages locked, all lights turned off.
  • Weekend duties consist of: Scrub bathrooms, i.e.: toilets, sinks, mirrors; soft scrub/409     ALL counters; scrub mats on exam tables, scales and surgery (take to tub in back and scrub, then hang to dry); polish all stainless steel surfaces (exam tables, sinks, etc); clean out fridge, throw away opened can food older than 7 days(make sure you are labeling food); check all treatment room cages, clean all that are dirty, pull off doors and scrub them if needed; clean up x-ray, put things back where they belong; stock drawers and containers in rooms; clean kitchen (dishes, counters, microwave, sink, throw away old food in fridge); vacuum and mop ALL clinic floors. Move chairs, tables, trash cans, etc; get in corners, behind doors, under Renee’s desk, etc; vacuum carpet in office; AS NEEDED, clean/ vacuum baseboards; IF TIME PERMITS, dust all surfaces, pictures, cabinets, shelves, etc.

Housekeeping Duties, 10%:

  • Clean hospital cages as needed
  • Help maintain clean exam rooms(clean table after every appointment), treatment area and surgical suite
  • Clean public and staff areas as needed

Client Communication Duties, 8%:

  • Professional, cheerful and helpful attitude when interacting with pet owners
  • Knowledge of common diseases, their symptoms and means of transmission
  • Knowledge of preventative health care recommendations to answer questions and assist in marketing veterinary services from which clients’ pets would benefit

Administrative Duties, 2%:

  • Help in reception area when needed
  • Know how to check out clients and discharge boarding and hospitalized patients
  • Understand proper medical record keeping
  • Understand front-desk procedures in order to assist receptionists such as phone system, veterinary practice-management software and appointment scheduling guidelines

Educational Requirements & Skills Needed

Educational Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Formal or on-the-job training in veterinary technology

Skills Needed:

  • Ability and willingness to assist technicians, doctors and receptionists
  • Responsibilities will vary based on the practice’s current needs, the season and the individual skills of the employee
  • Ability to assist veterinarians in the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery
  • Effective communicator

Physical Obligations:

  • Able to lift patients and carry equipment up to 25 pounds; ability to lift patients or carry equipment over 25 pounds with assistance
  • Endure sitting, standing and walking on hard floor surfaces for extended periods
  • Type information for patient records and prescription labels into the computer
  • Able to work in noisy work conditions with sounds from animals and equipment
  • Take safety precautions for exposure to toxins, drugs, anesthesia and radiation

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