October 07, 2020 Other Topics

Celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week 2020 during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Two veterinary professionals administer an IV

Celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week 2020 during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Next week is National Veterinary Technician Week, and its theme is This Is Who We Are, This Is What We Do. For this week’s blog post I will use the National Veterinary Technician Week’s theme to write about the AMC’s hardworking techs.

This Is Who We Are

In New York State, the proper title is Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT), but in other states it might be Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) or Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician (LVMT). In England, they’re called Veterinary Nurses. All states require veterinarians have a license to practice veterinary medicine, but not all states require the same for veterinary technicians. New York State does require licenses for veterinary technicians.

Technicians are essential workers, just like veterinarians. True to its history, AMC did not close for one minute, even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. Our ability to provide continuous veterinary care was in no small part due to the excellent staff of 90 veterinary technicians supporting the AMC veterinarians.

This Is What We Do

Veterinary technicians perform many of the functions of registered nurses in the human medical field. Technicians assist the veterinary staff in the exam room, serve as anesthetists, and operate the big machines, like the CT scanner and MRI, and the little machines for in-clinic blood testing and monitoring. Pet families will often meet a veterinary technician when their pet is discharged from the hospital. They often teach pet families to administer oral medication, give insulin by injection, care for a bandage or use a feeding tube.

This Is How We Do It

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve added my own bullet to this year’s National Veterinary Technician Week theme: This Is How We Do It. The day-to-day of AMC’s LVT’s has changed dramatically since last year. Everyone entering the building completes a daily health screen online and wears a mask all day while practicing social distancing whenever possible.

However, the devoted and highly-skilled care provided by AMC’s LVTs has not changed. To illustrate that, I will share a small triumph sent to me by one of our ICU technicians. I had a very sick, elderly feline patient in ICU — a poor cat with multiple serious medical conditions. In normal times, I would have popped into ICU several times during the day to check on him. Now, we all limit our trips to ICU to the essential ones. When this sickly cat unexpectedly started eating, his assigned technician took the time to send me a video of him chowing down on a plate of cat food. I immediately sent the video on to his anxious family, awaiting news of their furry family member’s condition.

That simple act of sending a video is how technicians do it at AMC – with kindness, caring and a good dose of veterinary medical skill.

Tags: COVID-19, national vet tech week, national veterinary technician week, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, vet tech week, veterinary technician,

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