October 9-15, 2011 is National Veterinary Technician Week.
Because of his firsthand experience with the skilled and devoted licensed veterinary technicians at the AMC, Jack Black the cat volunteered to give a report on the role of veterinary technicians as he sees it looking out from cage #3 in AMC’s ICU.
Jack Black: In His Own Words, Err…Meows
I have inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. When I come to the AMC to have my weight monitored, my blood glucose measured and my fructosamine checked, technicians Sandy and Maria always draw my blood and weigh me while the doctors are talking to my family. Since I am on a special diet they don’t give me any treats, but I see them giving everyone else treats after their blood is drawn, which is a real bummer. They also give me my pills so my family gets a day off.
Recently, an AMC veterinarian diagnosed me with colon cancer using an endoscope. I saw the endoscope cabinet, and it is full of different scopes used to look at internal organs, such as the lungs and intestines. The Internal Medicine Service technician, Lori, is responsible for the care and maintenance of all the endoscopes, so they are always ready for emergency removal of something stuck inside a dog or cat or to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. The technicians were very kind and caring towards me when I got my diagnosis, so I wasn’t worried at all!
My surgeon ordered a chest x-ray to evaluate my lungs and a CT scan of my abdomen to help with pre-surgery planning. In the diagnostic imaging suite, technicians Rafael and Corrado operate the AMC’s x-ray machine, CT scanner and MRI machine. The AMC’s CT scanner is so fast I didn’t have to stay overnight again, which made me and my family very happy.
Last week when I came back to The AMC to have the tumor removed from my colon, I met an entire new group of technicians working in anesthesia and the recovery room.
Catherine placed an intravenous catheter and wrapped it with some tape that had paw prints on it. Next, the technicians administered an intravenous infusion of an anesthetic agent and, once I was asleep, placed a breathing tube in my windpipe. The tube delivered the anesthetic gas during the surgery. They also monitored my blood pressure, blood oxygen level and blood sugar during surgery. When I woke up after surgery, the technicians gave me pain medication and kept me toasty warm, using the Bair Hugger® in the recovery room. I wouldn’t mind taking that Bair Hugger home with me.
After I recovered from anesthesia, I was moved to ICU. ICU is the AMC’s busiest ward, and I like it here because I have three technicians assigned to meet my every need — Lilia, Stephanie and Amy. I have three because they take care of me 24 hours a day, and even though I am their favorite patient, they need to go home and sleep so they are fresh and rested for their shift. When my family visits, the techs tell them all about what has happened to me that day, and my family feels better knowing how much they care about me.
Thanks to Jack Black the cat for highlighting the importance of veterinary technicians in animal healthcare. I hope his report helps our blog readers to understand pets need techs and so do veterinarians – not just during National Veterinary Technician Week, but every single day!
Photos: Courtesy of the AMC Veterinary Technicians
This may also be found in the “Tales from the Pet Clinic” blog on WebMD.com.
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