What is a Technician?

Registered Animal Health Technologist (RAHT) is a university graduate who has trained to be a paraprofessional in the field of veterinary medicine.  This individual works under the supervision of a veterinarian in many types of work settings, such as private practice, research, wildlife facilities, zoos, veterinary laboratories, government health of animals, feedlots and in some areas related to human health.  Registered Animal Health Technologists also work with a wide variety of species, which can include small animals such as dogs, cats; large animals such as horses, cattle, and other farm animals; laboratory animals such as rats, mice, guinea pigs; and exotics such as birds, monkeys, snakes and other reptiles.

The Animal Health Technologist can be compared to a nurse, paramedic, medical laboratory technologist, anesthesiologist, radiology technologist and medical receptionist in human medicine.  They are trained in all of these areas to enhance patient care.  Broadly speaking, the Animal Health Technologist can perform many procedures except in the areas of diagnosis, surgery and prescribing of medicines.  Only a licensed Veterinarian can do these.

Major areas in which Registered Animal Health Technologists are trained include the following:

Laboratory Procedures involving analysis of various body functions through laboratory testing on blood, urine, feces and other body samples.

Animal Nursing Management of animal housing, nutritional needs and basic care including restraint, knowledge of animal behavior, administering medications, bandaging, fluid therapy and physical therapy as directed by a Veterinarian.

Anesthesiology Anesthetic agents, and equipment available for the induction, maintenance and monitoring of anesthesia; maintenance of anesthetic equipment

Dentistry Performing dental prophys, evaluation and routine care.

Radiology Patient positioning and exposure techniques for the production of diagnostic radiographs (x-rays).

Surgical Preparation of patients for various surgical procedures, pre- and post

Assistance Operative care, assisting with surgical techniques, preparation and maintenance of surgical equipment.

Sanitation & Hygiene Routine sanitation, sterilization and disinfecting techniques.

Office Procedures  Working with the public through phone or in person in such areas as booking appointments, client education and animal care. Maintenance of medical records, hospital inventory and handling minor accounting duties.

This information has been provided by the Animal Health Technologists Association of B.C.

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