Celebrating National Vet Tech Week!

Recently, we asked AVMA members to share why they're grateful for the veterinary technicians in their lives. In an outpouring of gratitude, over eighty veterinarians responded. Here are some of our favorite stories. Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to Dr. Erin Rollins and the veterinary technicians of Harbor Road Veterinary Hospital for winning our dessert basket raffle!

"Being a recent (2020) grad, I wouldn’t have been able to jump right into clinical practice without my technicians. They have been supporting me since Day 1. Whether it’s double checking my drug doses, guiding my treatment choices ("Are you sure you want to do 'this' and not 'that'?” - in the most helpful way of course!), keeping me safe during exams, or even just listening to my rationale, my technicians have shaped me into the doctor I am today and I wouldn’t be successful without them. The doctors tend to get all the credit when caring for animals but technicians are my righthand men and women. I owe a lot of my treatment success to them!" - Dr. Erin Rollins, Harbor Road Veterinary Hospital

"The veterinary techs I have employed here at CDAC have been some of the most outstanding workers. Not only do they know their tech business, but they're also willing to jump with both feet into whatever comes through our doors. That can be anything from a bloated cow C-section, a dog run over by a tractor, a horse that collided with a fence... no matter what comes our way, my techs are always ready to step up to the challenge at hand and get dirty. Without good techs, my practice would not be as successful as we have been. I owe a great deal to techs who aren't afraid to work! They also know the ins and outs of a computer which is something that this old vet would rather not tackle, especially a Canadian health or VFD! Our techs aren't just employees. They are family and we are blessed to have good ones at CDAC." - Dr. Jay Alberda, Central Dakota Animal Clinic

"Because I'm the only veterinarian in my organization, I'm highly dependent on my techs for their observations and treatments of the animals in our shelter. They're my frontline workers and the animals depend on them for daily care. Sometimes the first loving hand a homeless dog or cat experiences in their life is one of my technicians. They show extreme care for each special case, including animals that are fearful and lashing out. What continues to amaze me is their desire to learn more and grow in our profession. They are constantly asking me questions, wanting to know more about the field, and seeking ways to improve as technicians. I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead them as a team and to have their trust." - Dr. Carolyn Bender, SPCA of Brazoria County Spay and Neuter Clinic

Pictured: Dr. Jessica Fox and her vet tech.

"Aleia is the most amazing veterinary technician. She is so compassionate and cares so much about the comfort and wellbeing of the animals under her care. She is so skilled at her craft! She can bleed anything I ask her from shrimp and fish, to turtles and stingrays, to cats and dogs, pigs, birds, cattle, and horses! She is an epic educator and creates fantastic educational resources. She is so incredible and I appreciate her so very, very much!" - Dr. Jessica Fox, Fins, Fur, Feathers, & Fetlocks

"Vet techs make our jobs possible! In particular, I want to make a shout-out to our office manager, Melissa. She was an amazing technician for twenty years and now she serves as our amazing office manager. She's always willing to jump in and help, whether it's placing a catheter in that 4 lb puppy that no one else can hit or just being willing to lend an ear. Would not be able to do this job without her!" - Dr. Grayce Gordon, McGehee Clinic for Animals

"As a relief vet married to an active duty person, I've had the experience of working at over fifty practices across the country. Technicians are uniquely positioned to help me jump into a new environment and practice with precision and thoroughness. I certainly couldn’t have provided the high level of care I'm accustomed to providing without their support and guidance. Frequent questions were, “How do you normally handle euthanasias at this practice?” to “Where are the splinting materials?”. They've been a wealth of knowledge about clients and pets, such as “Mrs. Jones frequently comes in with concerns about Fluffy, but being older and having no family, she mainly just wants to visit.” Almost all the techs I've worked with have been invaluable as extensions of my abilities. There is no way I could care for the number of animals at the level of care I have without them." - Dr. Erin Edging, Middle Valley Animal Hospital

"I couldn't practice without my technicians. At 63 years of age with back pain, bad knees, and advanced arthritis, I would have had to retire years ago (if I didn't have technicians). They are my arms and hands, my energy and flexibility, my enthusiasm and youth. They're so skilled and able. I enjoy the ongoing banter and gentle teasing that makes all of our days tolerable and fun." - Dr. Dorie Cappiello, Prospect Ridge Veterinary Hospital

"Our techs keep us safe while caring for our patients and their owners. And they do it all while keeping us laughing and caring about our emotional health." - Dr. Beth May, Quincy Animal Hospital

"The best teams are the ones that keep all of their members in high regard and fully utilized. Veterinary technicians carry an amazing impact on our profession. Their point of view and knowledge base is critical to the success of our patient care. From the beginning of my professional career to now, I've learned and worked alongside veterinary technicians. We do our best work together." - Dr. Gretchen Cole, Oklahoma City Zoo

"Our wonderful LVTs are literally the glue that holds us together. We feel lucky and privileged to be surrounded by these highly skilled techs. Thank you AVMA for this opportunity to celebrate the supportive team which makes it possible to save our patients daily." - Dr. Megan Medoff, Blue Ridge Equine Clinic

"We literally could not do our jobs without our technicians! A mixed-animal mobile practice requires much more out of a technician than most practices. Not only do our techs perform routine tech skills and duties, but they also must know how to drive and maneuver our large trucks, perform basic maintenance on the trucks, know how to operate the mechanics of the inside of the trucks (ie: generators, inverters, 12V vs 110V, etc.) and even empty the porta-potty! Our techs are also very flexible as our schedules can change at a moment's notice and some days are very long. Their position for the day may also change frequently and suddenly, but they all know how to adapt and keep the team moving along! We ❤️ our techs!" - Dr. Terra Smith, DocTerra Mobile Veterinary Services

"My technicians are invaluable to me and our practice. I always have clients with questions, and many times when I get on the phone or talk to them face-to-face about their concerns, the common reply is, "Can't I talk to the tech? She understands me better, and really knows my pet." Technicians are the heartbeat of the practice. They're skilled, compassionate to the n-th degree, and love the chaos, the happy recoveries, and friendly banter, yet melt with compassion and love when the humane end to life far too often brings a cloud of sadness to us all." - Dr. Kip Madsen, Animal Medical Center of Woodland Park

"With no hyperbole at all, I can honestly say that we literally could not do what we do without our veterinary technicians. We utilize our techs to the fullest extent allowed, and in turn, that allows the doctors to see more patients than would otherwise be possible. Our techs do all blood draws, place all IVs, administer and monitor all anesthesia procedures, take radiographs, and do a great deal of client education and communication. Perhaps equally importantly, we really, really like our technicians, and so do our clients. They are wonderful, hard-working, caring, compassionate people who come to work every day knowing that literally anything could happen. They may see a cute puppy and five minutes later get berated by a client for having to wait too long. And yet...they keep coming in every day, with a smile on their faces, and with the best interest of our patients in their hearts. They are truly amazing people, and they deserve far more recognition than they get. We love our techs!" - Dr. John Daugherty, Poland Veterinary Centre

"Our head tech, Morgan, has been with us for eighteen years. She enters the door smiling each day with the goal of making this practice and our care of our patients the best they can be. When I was sick with chronic Lyme disease, Morgan took over client communications. Our patients love her, our clients love her, and her coworkers love her. She makes our practice glow." - Dr. Barbara Jensen, Milbridge Veterinary Clinic

"Vet techs allow us to do our jobs. They make sure we're where we need to be, when we need to be there. I often jokingly say they are doctor herders. We would be lost without them." - Dr. Cathleen Medbury, Convenience Pet Hospitals