National Veterinary Technician Week 2013

October 15, 2013
Christina and a patient in ICU.

Christina and a patient in ICU.

This week, October 13-19, is National Veterinary Technician Week when we honor veterinary technicians or nurses for their role as critical members of the veterinary healthcare team. The technicians at The Animal Medical Center are a unique group in many ways.

A whole lotta’ techs
The AMC employs 75 technicians, each and every one licensed by the State of New York. These critical veterinary team members provide exceptional care to your pets no matter if it is high noon or 3 o’clock in the morning. The lowest number of technicians on duty in the hospital at any time during a 24 hour cycle is at 3 am when there are eight licensed veterinary technicians on the premises. These multi-tasking technicians run lab tests, take x-rays and provide compassionate patient care 24/7.

Trish and a canine patient.

Trish and a canine patient.

Big skill set
Because The AMC is a specialty hospital, our technicians learn specialized skills to support the veterinarians and patients on their team. We have technicians trained to perform hemodialysis, administer chemotherapy, prep patients for surgical procedures and assist in the operating room. Technicians maintain our delicate equipment like endoscopes and cage-side laboratory equipment to keep us ready for any emergency situation. Some of our long term technicians have worked in multiple areas throughout the hospital and have multidisciplinary skills, including care of exotic pets, plus administering radiation treatments or evaluating intraocular pressure and blood pressure!

Frankie assists Dr. Quesenberry with an examination of a swan

Frankie assists Dr. Quesenberry with an examination of a swan

Lifelong learning
Continuing education is required to maintain a veterinary technician license in New York State. To facilitate continuing education credits for our technicians, The AMC sponsors lectures on topics important to technicians, such as diabetes and heatstroke, through our Partners in Practice lecture series, and welcomes the participation of technicians from other veterinary practices as well. On a national level, the numbers of specialty certified technicians is small, but growing. The AMC is leading the pack with some of the first North American Veterinary Technician Academy (NAVTA) certified specialty technicians in the country. We currently have a total of five NAVTA certified technician in emergency critical care and anesthesia. The Tina Santi Flaherty Rehabilitation & Fitness Service has two technicians certified as Canine Rehabilitation Assistants and more in training.

A heartfelt thank you to vet techs everywhere
On behalf of veterinarians and the patients who benefit from the skills and knowledge of our technician team members, thank you for your hard work and dedication. Pets and vets need techs because we can’t do it without you.


Pets and Vets Need Techs: National Veterinary Technician Week

October 7, 2011

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.

Christina and a patient in ICU

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!

Trish and a canine patient

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.

Tracy and Treefrog

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.

Alana bandaging a dog’s leg

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, Jack!

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

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This may also be found in the “Tales from the Pet Clinic” blog on WebMD.com.

For over a century, The Animal Medical Center has been a national leader in animal health care, known for its expertise, innovation and success in providing routine, specialty and emergency medical care for companion animals. Thanks in part to the enduring generosity of donors, The AMC is also known for its outstanding teaching, research and compassionate community funds. Please help us to continue these efforts. Send your contribution to: The Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. For more information, visit www.amcny.org. To make an appointment, please call 212.838.7053.


Celebrating Key Members of the Veterinary Healthcare Team

October 11, 2010

When you make a visit to your doctor, an entire team of medical professionals work together to provide you with optimal care. A visit to your pet’s veterinarian is no different. The key member of the veterinary healthcare team we are celebrating this week is the licensed veterinary technician, sometimes called registered veterinary technician, licensed veterinary medical technician or certified veterinary technician.

October 10-16, 2010 is National Veterinary Technician Week and celebrates the hands-on contributions these professionals make to animal health. These highly trained team members specialize in being the veterinarian’s right hand and have duties similar to nurses in human medicine. Most of you are familiar with veterinary technicians who draw blood from your pet or help you to administer medications. But, there is more to this profession than pet owners typically see. You won’t usually see them taking x-rays, giving chemotherapy or preparing a patient for anesthesia and assisting in surgery, but veterinary technicians are essential team members throughout the veterinary hospital.

Veterinary technicians are not limited to working in small animal clinics. They help provide medical care to livestock, laboratory animals, wildlife and zoo animals. Their broad training teaches them skills useful in laboratories, medical supply companies or the pet food manufacturing industry. Many are promoted to veterinary practice manager while others pursue additional training in rehabilitation medicine.

Most veterinary technicians have a two-year associate degree, although some veterinary technician programs lead to a baccalaureate degree. Once they have earned a degree, veterinary technicians must pass a licensing examination administered by the state. Each state’s requirements for licensing are different. The job prospects for licensed veterinary technicians are excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth of 36% is expected between 2008-2018 for veterinary technician positions. This is higher than the expected growth for all occupations overall.

A recent innovation in the veterinary technician world is specialization. Now, technicians can be acknowledged as experts in their field. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) recognizes eight academies, or areas of specialization, such as internal medicine, anesthesia, and emergency and critical care.  To become certified, technician specialists must complete a formal process of education, training, experience and testing. The Animal Medical Center currently has five technician specialists and more enrolled in the training process.

During National Veterinary Technician Week, The AMC would like to recognize our nealry 80 technicians and thank them for their commitment to their profession.
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For nearly a century, The Animal Medical Center has been a national leader in animal health care, known for its expertise, innovation and success in providing routine, specialty and emergency medical care for companion animals. Thanks in part to the enduring generosity of donors, The AMC is also known for its outstanding teaching, research and compassionate community funds. Please help us to continue these efforts. Send your contribution to: The Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. For more information, visit www.amcny.org. To make an appointment, please call 212.838.7053.


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