Everybody needs a hero. For the kids of the world, it might be one of the Avengers, an athlete, or a beloved book character (Harry Potter anyone?). For the adults, maybe it’s a friend, the President, or your parents. As a veterinarian, most people would think that my hero would be James Herriot. While he holds a special place in many people’s hearts, he’s not the first person I think of first when I choose my veterinary hero. In actuality, I can’t pick just one person. I have to admit I go with a collective.
The ones I look up to and admire are veterinary technicians. Many pet owners and the general public don’t realize the full extent of what they do. It’s all the little things (and big ones) that they do that makes me appreciate and respect them. While often times it’s the veterinarian that gets the credit for helping our animal patients, it’s really a team effort but the technicians are the ones doing a large portion of the work.
Vet techs aren’t just awesome at cuddling puppies & kittens, though it is a perk of the job sometimes! They can often be found restraining an animal for a catheter, collecting blood or urine samples, and recovering a patient from anesthesia. They get exposed to radiation for x-rays though we make it as safe as possible. Oftentimes they are the first ones to note a problem or pain in a patient when it is brought back for triage during an emergency while the doctor is being tracked down. And they’re amazing mathematicians being precise so as to avoid accidental over dosages with medications. There’s so many other facets to the job as well.
To put it bluntly, I can’t live without my veterinary technicians! They have been a mainstay in my life for the past 18 years. From John at Shores Animal Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, then Dalila my right arm & the rockstar night crew at Hollywood Animal Hospital, and to my current crew of Jackie, Kayla, Melissa, Sarah, & Emily at the Kingston Veterinary Clinic (and everyone in between), they have all taught me so much that has made be a better veterinarian AND a better person. These are the heroes of veterinary medicine and they deserve respect, admiration, and appreciation. If you know a veterinary technician, consider yourself a lucky person and be sure to thank them. Who is your hero?
Dear veterinary technicians,
Keep being awesome. And thank you for doing what you do!