If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site

WARNING

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

Job Description: Registered Animal Heath Technician

Position Summary

A certified veterinary technician directly handles inpatient and outpatient care, working hand-in-hand with veterinarians. The technician assists in exam rooms by taking patients’ history, vital signs and weight; preparing vaccines; collecting samples and running diagnostic tests; providing client education; and assisting with animal restraint. Technicians also may see their own appointments for procedures such as suture removal, nail trim, vaccine administration when a doctor exam is not required, long-term medication monitoring testing, surgery admission and discharge and boarding check-in exams. Technicians directly impact doctors’ productivity, client service and patient care. Technicians play a key role in communicating with clients in person and by phone for follow-up care and patient monitoring.

Reports to: Technician Supervisor, Medical Director and/or Practice Owner(s)

Job Responsibilities

Technical Duties, 90%:

  • Assist veterinarians in the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery
  • Perform in-hospital lab testing and prepare specimens for outside labs
  • Assist veterinarians in outpatient exams by taking histories, vital signs and weights as well as providing client education
  • Provide nursing care for in-hospital patients
  • Conduct pre-admission exams and discharge hospitalized patients
  • Perform client callbacks
  • Maintain proper care and medication administration of boarding animals and assist kennel staff
  • Maintain legally defensible medical records in cooperation with veterinarians

Exams

  • Prepare and maintain exam rooms (cleanliness and stocking of supplies and brochures)
  • Assist veterinarians in exam rooms by taking patients’ history, vital signs and weight; preparing vaccines and medications; and assisting with medical records
  • Educate clients on prevention and wellness topics
  • Collect samples and run heartworm, tick-borne disease and intestinal parasite tests
  • Fill prescriptions per veterinarians’ instructions
  • Educate clients about medication instructions and administration
  • Perform admission exams for patients being hospitalized, including weight, vital signs and pre-surgical exam
  • Perform pre-anesthetic exams on surgery and dental patients if the veterinarian has not already assessed patients
  • Discharge patients for dentistry, spay, neuter and declaw surgeries
  • Conduct dental recheck exams

Lab

  • Responsible for in-hospital lab testing such as intestinal parasite screens, pre-anesthetic testing, senior screens, complete blood count, urinalysis, heartworm, tick-borne diseases, Feline Leukemia, FIV, cytology, etc.
  • Collect and prepare samples
  • Report diagnostic testing results to veterinarians
  • Maintain quality controls and record keeping on in-house lab equipment
  • Complete proper sample preparation and paperwork for outside diagnostic lab tests

Treatment

  • Perform treatments noted on treatment board and in medical records (hospitalized patients, surgeries, dentistry patients, boarding medications)
  • Assist veterinarians with daily treatments
  • Monitor intensive care patients
  • Provide nursing care
  • Take and process x-rays
  • Accurately number and file x-rays; record x-rays in log and medical records
  • Use and maintain IV pumps

Surgery

  • Admit patients scheduled for surgery and dentistry
  • Keep surgical materials stocked
  • Prepare gown and surgical packs
  • Check oxygen lines and waste gas scavenger system; turn off scavenger system after surgical procedures are completed
  • Prepare surgery suite for surgery
  • Prepare instruments; know type of surgical instruments required for specific surgeries
  • Assist veterinarians with patient restraint
  • Assist veterinarians with induction/intubation or perform induction/intubation
  • Surgical preparation of patient
  • Monitor anesthesia closely with monitoring equipment such as pulse oximeter and electrocardiogram
  • Help maintain anesthesia machine
  • Assist veterinarian performing surgery
  • Monitor patients waking up from anesthesia; assist with treatment if patient has reaction to anesthesia
  • Clean surgery suite and surgical instruments after each procedure following hospital sterilization protocols
  • Keep accurate anesthesia/surgical medical records
  • Ensure hospital patients go home well groomed and in an appropriate medical state

Dentistry

  • Clean, scale and polish teeth using dental equipment and hand instruments
  • Perform fluoride treatments
  • Record dental problems in medical records and report them to veterinarians for instructions
  • Assist veterinarians performing oral extractions or other dental procedures
  • Complete dental report cards
  • Take before-and-after digital photos for client handouts
  • Take and process dental x-rays

Medical Records

  • Update medical records with progress notes
  • Communicate with doctors and technicians through notations in medical records
  • Record information for hospitalized patients including:
    • Daily status each time a technician touches a patient, with initials, time, procedures and observations
    • Boarding information
    • Hospitalized procedures such as surgeries, radiographs and dentistry
    • Pre-surgical exam findings, anesthesia risk
    • Time anesthesia begins, ends and how many minutes
    • Suture material, suture pattern; incision location and size; veterinarian’s surgical notes
    • Lab test results
    • Dental charts
    • Injections, medications, fluid therapy, pain management
  • Note homecare instructions given to and reviewed with client
  • Create estimates/treatment plans
  • Collect signatures on consent forms and estimates/treatment plans

Housekeeping Duties, 5%:

  • Maintain cleanliness of surgery suite, treatment area and exams rooms for all surfaces, including lights, tables, cabinets, walls and floors
  • Maintain equipment cleanliness and longevity by vacuuming pet hair from keyboards, wheels and equipment
  • Vacuum computer keyboards in treatment area, lab/pharmacy and exam rooms
  • Clean glass windows and doors in surgery suite, treatment area and exam rooms
  • Sweep and mop floors in surgery suite, exam rooms and treatment area
  • Keep food and drinks out of treatment area and surgery suite
  • Discard syringes in proper containers
  • Empty trash
  • Clean water and food bowls for hospitalized pets
  • Clean cages and bedding for hospitalized pets
  • Organize radiology gowns, gloves and badges, making sure they are neatly hung or stored
  • Scrub and polish sinks
  • Wipe down walls and baseboards in the surgery suite, treatment area and exam rooms
  • Clean cages
  • Do laundry

Administrative Duties, 3%:

Inventory

  • Log controlled drugs
  • Assist with inventory physical count
  • Know how to use the inventory module in our veterinary practice-management software
  • Unpack deliveries, reconcile against packing slip and restock supplies
  • Restock shelves and drawers in exam rooms and treatment area

Safety

  • Follow OSHA requirements
  • Follow practice’s health and safety protocols
  • Maintain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Administrative

  • Be proficient in using our veterinary practice-management software
  • File lab results
  • Send out x-ray badges monthly; supervise monitoring badges; file reports
  • Assist receptionists when they need extra help
  • Attend staff and department meetings

Professional Growth Duties, 2%:

  • Belong to professional societies
  • Attend continuing education for technicians (conferences, online courses, videos, in-clinic seminars, etc.)
  • Network with technicians from other practices
  • Read veterinary and technician journals

Educational Requirements & Skills Needed

Educational Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Associate’s degree in applied science, veterinary technology
  • State license to work as a certified/licensed/registered veterinary technician

Skills Needed:

  • Ability to assist veterinarians in the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery

Physical Obligations:

  • Able to lift patients and carry equipment up to 25 pounds; ability to lift patients or carry equipment over 25 pounds with assistance
  • Endure sitting, standing and walking on hard floor surfaces for extended periods
  • Type information for patient records and prescription labels into the computer
  • Able to work in noisy work conditions with sounds from animals and equipment
  • Take safety precautions for exposure to toxins, drugs, anesthesia and radiation