Veterinary Technician in the Laboratory

Almost all hospitals have a laboratory that can be used to run many in-house tests to determine routine problems, as well as illness. The Veterinary technicians have an important role in the laboratory of a veterinary hospital. The vet tech is tasked with running as well as reporting lab work to the attending Doctor. Therefore it is important for the veterinary technician to be able to run lab work accurately and efficiently to provide the Veterinarian with important patient information.

What does a veterinary technician do in the lab?

The vet tech can perform many tests in the laboratory setting. Most veterinary laboratories will contain several machines to run blood work a long with other equipment. The veterinary technician will be trained in the use of the devices such as an Idexx machine that uses slides to automatically read certain blood enzyme levels. It is important for the vet tech to run the tests properly to ensure that the levels are accurate.

One of the most common run in-house lab tests for a veterinary clinic is the CBC. Most veterinary hospitals have a centrifuge (spinning device) that is used to separate the different blood cells. The CBC or “complete blood count” provides specific levels of all the different types of blood cells. The CBC gives the veterinarian a quick look at potential problems that could be causing a patients sickness. A veterinary technician that can perform a quick CBC will be a doctors best friend!

The Microscope

The microscope is also one of the veterinary technicians best friends in the laboratory. A vet tech utilizes the microscope daily to identify potential infections both internally and externally on the patient. One of the most important tests with companion animals is the fecal test. Fecal tests help to identify intestinal parasites that could be harmful to both pets and humans. The veterinary technician is tasked with finding parasitic eggs on slides taken from a fecal sample. Once a parasite has been determined; the veterinarian can prescribe a medication to kill off the infection.

An ear cytology is another important test run with the microscope. The ear cytology allows the vet tech to determine exactly what is causing a harmful and potentially painful ear infection in companion animals. The veterinary technician can take samples from the ear of an animal and stain the sample on a slide. Once the slide has been stained the vet tech will be able to determine what type of infection is causing the problem.

There are many more tests that the veterinary technician needs to be able to perform. Some of the most common being tests that help to determine diseases and parasites of the skin. By looking at samples taken from the skin the vet tech can identify such infections as demodex, Malassezia, and scabies.

The veterinary technician provides a very important role in the laboratory. Vet techs are able to provide the doctor with important information on how to move forward with certain patients. The laboratory is a very important job duty of the veterinary technician. One that can take years to master and one that is always satisfying.

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