What is an RVT, and what do they do? This week is National Veterinary Technician Week, and we thought there was no better time to shine a spotlight on our RVTs and answer your questions!

An RVT, or Registered Veterinary Technician, is a highly trained professional who acts as the right-hand of the doctor and is one of the most diverse job descriptions out there. Their role in a veterinary clinic is comparable to a Registered Nurse in a human hospital (they are actually called Veterinary Nurses in Europe!).

To become an RVT, one must graduate from an accredited Veterinary Technology program, become a member of the provincial governing body, complete a professionalism & ethics course, and submit a police background check. Once these steps are completed, they must write and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam, which provides credentials throughout North America. Only then are they designated “Registered Veterinary Technicians,” and they must complete and submit proof of continuing education courses taken every year to maintain their licensed status. This is all before they even get on the job!

Often overlooked due to many of their tasks being “behind the scenes,” RVTs are an integral part of a veterinary hospital. They are responsible for anesthesia during surgeries, taking and processing radiographs (x-rays), and preparing and administering medication and other treatments to hospitalized patients. They collect blood, urine, and cytology samples and analyze them through the microscope. They place splint bandages and dress wounds. RVTs triage emergency arrivals, perform dental scaling & polishing procedures, and scrub in and assist the doctors in complex surgeries. They are knowledgeable about the intricacies of different medicines, supplements, treatments, tests, and nutritional needs. RVTs take this collection of knowledge and share it with pet parents to ensure owners are making informed choices about their pets’ care. The role of RVTs encompasses all of this and so much more.

We wanted to take a moment and say THANK YOU to our RVTs for all their hard work and dedication to enriching and improving the lives of every animal they care for on a daily basis. If you have any questions about your pet’s health, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our RVTs today!