© 2022 Alabama Public Radio

920 Paul Bryant Drive
Digital Media Center
Gate 61 35487

(800) 654-4262
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Life

Veterinary Nurse/Technician

Jo Naylor [Flickr]

Almost every veterinary technician or veterinary nurse will tell you they do what they do because they love animals.  What they do every day can help animals live longer and stay healthier, which means they also help pet owners, making sure they understand what to do for their furry friends.  When a vet tech does their job well, everybody wins!


When you take your pet to the veterinarian, you may notice a staff member assisting the vet, perhaps helping to hold your pet during its exam. The veterinarian always has the responsibility for making the diagnosis, prescribing medications and for performing surgical procedures – but that assistant may be a veterinary nurse or technician who has received special training to help examine and treat the animals.

The veterinary technician, or “vet tech”, (often called a veterinary nurse) might assist with surgery, administer medications, and help pet owners understand and carry out the vet’s instructions. Some vet techs may perform laboratory tests, clean teeth, handle x-ray procedures, insert IVs, even assist with euthanasia when necessary.

A veterinary nurse or vet tech can make a veterinarian more effective in treating pets, because the vet can focus on the patient while the vet tech sees to the technical details. A veterinary nurse is a skilled professional who can help the vet make sure your pet gets top quality medical care along with personal attention.

The American Humane Association annually recognizes one Hero Veterinarian and one Hero Veterinary Nurse. Much like the Hero Dog Awards, you can go online to herovetawards.org and vote for the vet and vet nurse you think should be recognized to represent the professionals who care for our furry friends and help to make their lives better.

For information about becoming a veterinary technician, visit the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America website at NAVTA.net. You can find information about training and certification for people who love animals and want to be a member of a veterinary healthcare team.

And, if your veterinarian has a vet tech on staff, take a minute the next time you visit to thank them for their hard work and care they give their patients. After all, the next furry friend they nurse back to health could be yours, when you’re speaking of pets.


News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.