Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: We don't do this alone


We veterinarians thrive through the success of our technicians.

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National Veterinary Technician's Week was a few months ago. It would be more fitting if it were changed to Veterinary Technician's Month! Every day veterinary technicians make contributions in academia, private practice, industry, research facilities, public education, and managing wildlife. Veterinary technicians are involved in public health, scientific and popular writing, animal behavior projects, and various government agencies. They run shelters and nonprofit animal organizations and work on conservation efforts. Their footprint is remarkably broad and the effect they have is immeasurable.

Those of us in private practice are duty-bound to do all that we can to encourage our technicians to continue to grow, acquire new skills, and learn new technologies. With such a commitment, our practices and clients benefit, and we continually improve the standard of care we offer the animals that we treat. We veterinarians thrive through the success of our technicians.

Help your technicians to better themselves. Encourage them to learn, teach, and attempt new procedures. Make it possible for them to attend continuing education sessions and work-related seminars. Hold in-house training sessions and wet labs. Start a weekly journal club breakfast at your hospital in which new techniques, methods, and ideas can be discussed. Reward your technicians when they write a public education article for the local paper, appear on a local animal-related radio show, or remain involved in veterinary technician groups. You will be amazed at the positive effects these activities produce. Through trust and encouragement, our technicians can achieve their full potential.

We don't do this alone. The successful treatment of a sick animal depends on everyone from your receptionist to the kennel staff. Often, no one is more essential-or, sadly, more overlooked-than veterinary technicians. Make your technicians feel appreciated and part of the team, and encourage them to be all they can. You will not be sorry.

See you next week, Kev

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