Levels of Veterinary Technician Utilization and Examples of Specific Skill Sets

Table 6.1

Table 6.1 provides a list of some skill-set examples that fall into three categories (or levels) of veterinary technician utilization. Although not inclusive of all skill sets and experience levels, it provides at least a foundation for assessing the CrVTs within each practice and determining how well their skill sets are utilized.

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  • Obtain/monitor vitals on nonanesthetized patient
  • Cytology
  • Bandaging (basic)
  • Dental prophylaxis
  • Dental radiographs
  • Radiographs (basic)
  • Administer vaccines
  • Anal gland expression
  • Nail trims
  • Client education (basic topics— pain assessment, husbandry)
  • Phlebotomy
  • Urinary catheter care
  • Intravenous catheter care
  • Medication administration
  • Husbandry
  • Anesthesia monitoring (ASA I–II)
  • Fill prescriptions
  • Collect urine/fecal samples
  • Cystocentesis
  • Gastric intubation
  • Tracheal intubation
  • Blood typing
  • Monitoring blood product transfusion
  • Medication/fluid therapy calculations (basic drug calculation, constant rate infusions, percent calculations, mEq)
  • Aseptic technique
  • Basic suturing skills
  • Perform Basic Life Support in CPR
  • Controlled substance handling and monitoring
  • Set up for surgery/procedures
  • Low-stress handling/restraint
  • Perform ophthalmological testing (Schirmer tear test, fluorescein, tonometry)
  • Suture/staple removal
  • Microchip insertion
  • Apply splints or casts
  • Anesthesia monitoring (ASA III–IV)
  • Advanced imaging anesthesia support (CT, MRI, PET)
  • Client education (nutrition, diabetes, rehabilitation skills, palliative care)
  • Esophagostomy tube maintenance
  • Blood transfusion and crossmatching
  • Dental local blocks
  • Surgical assisting
  • Perform Advanced Life Support in CPR
  • Critical care assessments
  • Urinary catheter placement
  • Physical rehabilitation treatments (laser, shockwave, ultrasound, TENS, etc.)
  • Regenerative medicine preparations (PRP, stem cell processing, hyaluronic acid injections)
  • Emergency triage
  • Surgical discharge
  • Multimodal analgesia and interventional prescriptions (vasopressors, gastrointestinal, etc.)
  • Intraosseous catheter placement
  • Perform/position for orthopedic radiographs (VD shoulder, OFA pelvis, spinal series)
  • Perform fine needle aspirates
  • Advanced imaging (CT, MRI, PET)
  • Central line placement
  • Arterial blood pressure monitoring
  • Chest/tracheal tube management
  • Physical rehabilitation assessments
  • Epidural injections
  • Ultrasound-guided nerve blocks
  • Chest tube placement
  • Blocked cat urinary catheter placement
  • Tracheostomy tube care
  • Difficult intubation
  • Epidural catheter care
  • Lead CPR code (RECOVER)
  • Neonatal care
  • Administration of total intravenous anesthesia
  • Nasogastric tube placement

ASA, American Society of Anesthesiologists; CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; CT, computed tomography; OFA, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals; PET, positron emission tomography; PRP, platelet-rich plasma; TENS, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; VD, ventrodorsal

The 2023 AAHA Technician Utilization Guidelines are generously supported by CareCredit, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and IDEXX.

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