Veterinary Nursing In Action @AMC: National Veterinary Technician Week 2016

animal medical center dentistryThe theme of this year’s National Veterinary Technician Week is “Veterinary Nursing In Action.” The theme speaks to the role of veterinary technicians or nurses in the veterinary profession. During their training, credentialed veterinary technicians must show proficiency in the care of all species; those with feathers, fur, scales, and skin. Technicians are the backbone of the Animal Medical Center; without them,we would be unable to provide high-quality compassionate care.

What kind of action do veterinary technicians see?
Veterinary technicians see lots of action since they are involved in every facet of veterinary healthcare. They can be found in examination rooms, operating rooms and patient wards. View veterinary technicians in action at the Animal Medical Center.

How do veterinary technicians work with veterinary surgeons?
The operating room is a wonderful example of how our technicians impact patient care. Black Jack the cat describes his surgical procedure and how AMC technicians were active in his care as he moved to the operating room, recovery suite and finally to his spot in ICU. Just like nurses in a human hospital, our veterinary technicians made sure Black Jack was as comfortable as possible during his stay.

Where else do technicians work at the AMC? In the cancer clinic.
Like surgeons, oncologists depend on veterinary technicians for their patient management skills. Technicians administer both chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments. They provide pet families education on topics like giving medications or using a feeding tube. This slide show highlights the actions veterinary technicians use when working with cancer patients.

Is a career as a veterinary technician for me?
A licensed veterinary technician is capable of offering nursing care to all species and that’s a pretty AWESOME career! Opportunities abound for veterinary technicians to take action as part of the healthcare team. While many work in neighborhood veterinary clinics, they may also work in industry, the military, universities, research facilities, zoos, aquariums, and in any facility housing animals. Are you interested in the backstory about life as a veterinary technician? Learn about some of the challenges these dedicated professionals face and learn if this career might be for you.

Pets and Vets Need Techs: National Veterinary Technician Week

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, 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


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

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 To make an appointment, please call 212.838.7053.