How Offering Vet Tech Appointments Can Benefit a Veterinary Clinic
Published on October 18, 2018 by A. Rothstein
These days, our veterinary technicians are spending more time with our pets. Veterinary technicians have begun to offer appointments, as well. Vet techs provide services including nail trims and blood draws during these appointments.
First, what do veterinary technicians do? Next, what are the benefits of veterinary technician appointments? Finally, what services can a vet tech offer without the pet first seeing a veterinarian? By going directly to the vet tech, the pet owner can save time and money.
What does a Veterinary Technician Do?
Veterinary technicians perform medical tests, trim nails and give vaccinations under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Veterinary technicians typically do the following on a day-to-day basis:
- Observe behavior and conditions of animals
- Provide care or first aid to injured animals
- Bathe animals, clip nails or claws, and basic grooming
- Restrain animals during exams or procedures
- Administer anesthesia to animals
- Take x-rays and collect and perform lab tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts
- Clean and prepare instruments for surgery
- Administer medications, vaccines, and prescribed treatments
- Collect and record animal’s medical histories
Benefits of Veterinary Technician Appointments
Long waits are common at busy veterinary practices. Complex emergencies and visits can disrupt appointments, leaving clients unhappy. Even waits less than 15 minutes may annoy customers, according to a Veterinary Hospital Manager’s Association Insider’s Insight survey.
Wait times can decrease significantly thanks to vet tech appointments. When clients feel that the vet tech values their time, they may be likely to return and refer the vet practice to others.
Some veterinary clinics offer walk-in appointments. With this model, the vet tech needs to take on more education and knowledge of the pet and its owner. Vet techs can take care of routine check-ups, vaccinations or simple procedures. This allows veterinarians to focus on more complex cases.
The cost of veterinary care is a concern for pet owners whose pets have chronic health issues. If they find visits and testing too expensive, they may eventually stop or delay visits. This is not advised, and can affect the health of their pets.
Clinics that allow vet tech visits may lead to lower veterinary care costs. Thanks to tiered service fees, those customers may return for specialized services or regular blood tests. The vet tech may have appointments for free services, such as nail trims, to generate interest in the clinic.
The clinic will improve financially when vet techs are available for appointments. Vet tech visits are a new revenue stream that may increase profits without raising the cost of visits with veterinarians. DVM 360 notes that revenue may improve due to the increased number of patients the clinic can see daily.
Many practices rely on the sale of prescription pet food and medications for revenue. Customers may be more likely to purchase products at their practice when the vet tech explains their benefits during visits.
What Services Can Veterinary Technicians Offer During Appointments?
Although vet techs can’t diagnose or treat patients, they can offer a variety of services during appointments, such as:
Consultations: Veterinary technicians offer weight management and behavioral advice and provide care instructions to new pet owners. If a pet is elderly, a better nutritional diet may be important to keep them active and care for any arthritis. Veterinary technicians are responsible for instructing pet owners on how to administer treatments on their own at home for pets that require this care.
Medication and Fluid Administration: Clients can schedule an appointment with the vet tech if their pets need insulin injections or fluid administration. During these visits, the vet tech may also teach the pet owner how to perform these tasks at home.
Surgical Services: Pre-surgery blood draws and surgery admissions and discharges can be handled by vet techs. The vet tech discharges the pet after their veterinary appointment. Discharge includes special at-home treatment and medication instructions.
Booster Shots: Pets may receive booster shots from vet techs, as long as their state permits them to administer the injections.
Pet Introductions: Visits to the veterinarian can be overwhelming for some pets. Weary patients may find visits less scary if they tour the clinic and meet the staff prior to appointments.
Grooming and Other Services: Anal gland expression, microchip implants, nail trims, grooming, ear cleaning and bathing can be done by vet techs.
Diagnostic Tests: The vet tech can offer heartworm testing, draw blood, perform urine tests, or take X-rays at the request of a veterinarian.
The vet techs willingness to see patients on their own can make them a valuable asset as a new vet tech at a veterinary practice. As an added benefit, the time the vet tech spends assisting and educating clients can make their job even more rewarding.
Interested in learning more about vet tech appointments? How about starting 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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