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Animal Health Technologist


Description

Most of us know how to take care of ourselves when we get a cold or cut our fingers. But most of us our not trained to deal with our animals when they become sick or injured. This is the cue for the experts to step in and nurse that animal to health.

Animal health technologists are trained veterinary assistants. Working under the supervision of a veterinarian, they provide technical support in veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, laboratories and with mobile veterinary units. Animal health technologists assist veterinarians by preparing and administering medications, vaccines and treatments. They handle, restrain and care for animals undergoing treatment and surgery. Their duties may also include counseling clients on animal health, assisting with breeding and animal management, keeping equipment and instruments in good order, doing laboratory work and specialized procedures, and data processing.

Animal health technologists usually specialize in one type of animal care. Some work exclusively with food-producing animals, domestic pets, exotic birds and animals, wildlife and alternative livestock, or horses. Others specialize in nutrition, research, reproduction, or surgery.

Those who work with smaller animals, like dogs, cats, rodents, and turtles are most often found in cities, as they treat mostly pets. Pet owners bring their animals to the clinic, where they are examined, have blood or x-rays taken, operated on, vaccinated and put to sleep.

Animal health technologists who work with rural veterinarians treat farm animals in much the same way as those who work with city vets do, except that they take their expertise to the animals. They do much of their work in large factory farms, where the animals are at greater risk of infection or disease.
 
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         Related Careers
arrow Advanced Care Paramedic
arrow Anesthesiologists
arrow Animal Care Worker
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Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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