The Veterinary Technician’s Administration Role

Published on April 12, 2019 by

For animal lovers, work as a veterinary technician can be a dream come true. You receive the certification and training you need to perform a variety of veterinary duties. Depending on the position, there are also a number of duties in clinic administration you may be responsible for.

There is a difference between veterinary technicians and assistants. A veterinary assistant requires less education. Because of this, they tend to handle clinic administration issues. Veterinary technicians have more interaction with pet owners and animals. They have a greater amount of responsibility to run tests and administer medications.

In smaller offices, a veterinary technician may take on many of the duties. Veterinary technicians should also be familiar with basic administration regardless of where they work.

Veterinary Technician Versus Veterinary Assistant Roles

First of all, veterinary technician and veterinary assistants have slightly different roles. Depending on the size of the office, there may be a significant amount of overlap between the two roles. Veterinary technicians can expect to perform some administration roles.

Veterinary Technicians

A veterinary technician helps animals live happy, healthy lives. Technicians have a variety of clinical skills and knowledge to provide animals with care. Veterinary technicians perform a number of tasks around the office.

Veterinary Assistants

In contrast, veterinary assistants perform more administrative roles in the office. A veterinary technician prepares animals to undergo surgery and administer prescribed medication. In contrast, a veterinary assistant tends to the daily operations in the office.

Administrative Roles

There are many day-to-day tasks that help the clinic run smoothly. For most people, working in administration means office management. Some duties are universal, while others are unique to veterinary offices.

Answering Phones

A veterinary technician schedules emergency appointments if an animal has an unexpected health issue. Depending on the size of the clinic, the way these situations are handled may vary. The veterinary technician may recommend emergency care or calm pet owners over the phone.

Checking in Pets

A veterinary technician or assistant checks in animals in when they arrive. The attendant makes sure that the pet is on time and notifies the veterinarian. If there are scheduling issues, the veterinary technician adjusts the schedule so the pet can be seen as soon as possible.

Adding Information to Charts

The veterinary technician needs to add information to the pet’s chart. The veterinary technician looks through their records to find information about medical conditions, visits, and medications.

When the veterinary technician talks to the pet owners, they ask questions about the pet’s health and behavior. If the pet is injured, they’ll need to find out how the injury occurred and may perform an assessment of the injured area.

Helping with Billing

A veterinary technician might be asked to help with various aspects of the billing process. This includes talking to health insurance companies, talking to pet owners, and updating patient accounts when payments have been received.

Supporting the Veterinarian

In a veterinary technician position, the most important part of the job is supporting the veterinarian. Different workplaces will have different needs depending on their standard daily operations, size, and the type of care they most commonly provide.

A good way to think about a veterinary technician’s role is by comparing it to a human nurse. Similarly, the veterinary technician records and organizes a great deal of information around the veterinary office.

Educating Animal Owners

One of the most common duties veterinary technicians perform is educating pet owners. The veterinarian diagnoses conditions and provides medication prescriptions. However, the veterinary technician is expected to have a working understanding of the diagnoses and medications.

The veterinary technician explains to the pet owner how to administer medication. They’ll also educate the pet owner about health conditions and guide them through care. In some cases, the veterinary technician educates owners about pet safety.

The veterinary technician will want to have information about their pet’s health and needs. If owners call with follow-up questions, the veterinary technician may be the one to answer them.

Office Organization

Administrative freedom varies widely depending on the job. In a small practice, part of the veterinary technician duties may be to keep the office organized.

The veterinary technician needs to be familiar with the computer systems and organization. Since a lot of information is still on paper, they’ll also need to make sure there’s a filing system. Keeping information organized saves veterinary technicians time and energy and makes everyone’s jobs easier.

Streamlining Office Processes

A veterinary technician may streamline processes around the veterinary office. For examples, this might mean organizing projects to get on-paper data transferred to a digital system. It might also include suggesting policies that allow information to be transferred.

Supporting the Veterinarian

Veterinary technicians have a fulfilling career helping animals. They have the knowledge and skills to provide nursing care to pets. Likewise, they become certified much faster than a fully licensed veterinarian. Veterinary assistants handle the veterinary administration jobs.

How much administrative responsibility veterinary technicians have is a great interview question. It helps to be familiar with the workflow of an office. Every veterinary technician job is unique.

Want to Learn More?

Ready to start a program to become a veterinary technician? With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to start an entry-level career as a veterinary technician. Broadview University has been part of the community for more than 40 years, so we’ve developed connections that can help move your career forward.

After completing our accredited degree program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passing the VTNE allows you to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), a designation that will give you a competitive advantage when you enter the job market.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a veterinary technician and working in veterinary technology.


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