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Fall 2003 Vol. 47, Number 3

Veterinary technicians: Nursing animals to health

—NUTSHELL:
From assisting in surgery to administering drugs, these workers bring state-of-the-art medical care to the animal kingdom.


—SNIPPET:

Your puppy gets sick in the middle of the night, so
you drive him to the animal hospital and carry him in.
But the first medical professional you see probably isnít a veterinarian. You can relax, though: with a veterinary technician providing care, your puppy is in good hands.

Veterinary technicians are often called animal nurses because they care for animal patients the way nurses care for humans. But veterinary techniciansí responsibilities extend beyond nursing, combining duties of many human healthcare jobs. 

Many people are attracted to veterinary technology because they love animalsóand thatís a good foundation for a veterinary career. But veterinary technicians also need solid scientific skills. As veterinary medicine becomes more advanced, the duties of technicians are becoming more complex and varied. 

Learn more in this article about what veterinary technicians do and where they do it, the ups and downs of their work, the skills and training that they need, and their earnings and employment prospects. Youíll also find hints for getting started in a veterinary career and sources for more information. The box on page 32 describes other animal-related jobs.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: February 27, 2004