Duties and responsibilities
Emergency and critical care veterinary technicians are specially trained and certified to provide assistance to veterinarians in treating cases that require emergency surgery or other critical interventions. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Being on call in the intensive care unit
- Monitoring an animals vitals
- Placing catheters
- Taking x-rays
- Cleaning wounds
- Applying casts or bandages
- Handling surgical equipment Giving injections
- Taking blood samples
- Giving fluids
- Updating case file
To become an emergency and critical care veterinary technician you will need to complete an accredited veterinary technician program. These typically take two-years to complete and end with an associates degree in veterinary technology. In addition, most veterinary technicians will need to pass their states licensing exams. The Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians offers specialist certification to licensed vet techs that have completed at least three years or 5,760 hours of work in the field of emergency & critical care, at least 25 documented hours of continuing education, a year-long case log that documents at least 50 cases, and four in-depth case reports.
Skills and relevant work experience
- Communication skills, as veterinary technicians need to be able to communicate effectively with their veterinary supervisors, other vet team members and with animal owners
- Manual Dexterity, as emergency and critical care veterinary technicians must be able to handle animals and use tools in small spaces
- Compassion, as veterinary technicians must be able to treat animals, and their owners, with empathy and understanding
- Working well under pressure, as they must be able to react quickly and remain calm under pressure
Most veterinary technicians work full time, often working more than 40 hours per week. They may be on call and have to work nights or weekends. Part time work is also available, which offers more flexibility.
An emergency and critical care vet technicians salary varies based on their expertise, level of experience, education, certifications and other factors. Typically, their median annual salary is $34,420 per year. The top 10% earned more than $50,010 and the bottom 10% earned less than $23,490 per year. s
Most veterinary technicians will work in roles where they are supervised by experienced and licensed veterinarians. They may progress, with more experience, to more senior roles. For example, they may be in charge of training other veterinary technicians.