Tips for veterinary technicians entering the field

February 18, 2021
Erica Tricarico, Managing Editor

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Caitlin McCafferty, Assistant Editor

Longtime veterinary relief technician Liz Hughston, MEd, RVT, CVT, LVT, VTS (SAIM) (ECC), shares 3 things new technicians need to know.

Are you a brand-new technician? Not sure what to expect? According to veterinary relief technician Liz Hughston, MEd, RVT, CVT, LVT, VTS (SAIM) (ECC), who’s been in the field for 15 years, it’s both a rewarding and challenging career. To help new technicians get their footing, she shares 3 things she wished she would have known early on.

No. 1: Know that it’s challenging

Hughston’s top tip: know coming in that this profession is not for the faint of heart—be prepared to fight for what you want in this field, she tells dvm360.

No. 2: Advocate for your patients

One thing Hughston said she wished knew as a young technician?: To advocate for her patients and ensure that they are receiving the highest quality of care. Technicians are the eyes and ears for the veterinarian, making advocacy a crucial part of this profession, she explains.

“We as veterinary technicians are uniquely situated to do that [advocate] because we are the hands-on part of the veterinary practice,” says Hughston.

“It’s a hard role to take on and involves a lot of emotional labor. It’s a big part of why folks burnout and why we have compassion fatigue. But I think being an advocate and really fighting for your patients, your clients, and for yourself is something that is valuable overall.”

No. 3: Come in with your eyes open

Be aware of the challenges the profession is facing, including the many resources available to help you combat or minimize those obstacles.

Watch the video below for more advice for brand-new technicians.