Job Title: Surgical Veterinary Technician
Reports to: Clinic Manager
Job Summary: The Surgical Veterinary Technician (SVT) is the primary caregiver for all animals in the clinic, providing superior care from admission through discharge. The SVT is responsible for daily care of all surgical patients, and any other animals in the care of the clinic. Working in a high-volume fast-paced environment, this position assists veterinarians and other technician staff with surgical and anesthetic procedures, client education, medication and treatment administration, with constant attention to each animal’s needs from the most basic to the most complex.
Duties & Responsibilities
- Provides superior client education and instruction through prompt and courteous service in person, by telephone or through email, keeping the customer informed from admission through discharge and after discharge. Communicates clearly, accurately and professionally with the public.
- Navigates difficult customer situations in a professional and courteous manner that results in satisfied customers.
- Demonstrates caring and respectful attitude at all times, especially when dealing with sensitive or emotional situations.
- Accurately evaluates temperament and behavior of patients to maintain safety of self, staff, clients and patients. Safely handles and restrains patient effectively and with least possible stress to the patient. Identifies and uses appropriate safety equipment when indicated to minimize risk of injury to self, staff, clients and patients.
- Assesses animal health and well being, including auscultation when possible, and notifies licensed veterinarian of any concerns immediately. Accurately determines gender of animals prior to surgery.
- Provides all daily care and monitoring of patients in the clinic under the supervision of a veterinarian and in accordance with veterinary standards, company policies, procedures and protocols, and all applicable laws.
- Promptly and accurately identifies urgent patient needs, administers appropriate support and notifies veterinarian immediately.
- Identifies need for documentation and consistently documents findings, assessments, treatments and all significant occurrences in patient records on a timely basis accurately, completely and professionally, using proper documentation practices.
- Navigates records, analyzes and interprets medical and other data to provide excellent patient care and customer service.
- Performs all aspects of perioperative patient care including preparation of animals for surgery, administration of medications, intubation, venipuncture, surgical site preparation, anesthesia monitoring, and postoperative recovery support and monitoring in accordance with company policy and accepted veterinary standards.
- Administers all vaccinations (except Rabies which under NJ law must be administered by a licensed veterinarian,) medications, treatments and implants microchips as ordered by the veterinarian or requested by the pet owner in accordance with PFA policies, procedures and protocols, under the supervision of a veterinarian and in accordance with all applicable laws.
- Provides safe, compassionate handling and restraint of dogs and cats for procedures or examination and at all times during the patient’s visit in accordance with company policies & procedures.
- Administers and dispenses medications correctly as ordered by a veterinarian and in accordance with PFA policies, procedures and protocols and all applicable laws.
- Properly collects and accurately analyzes test specimens.
- Ensures proper handling of vaccine serum.
- Follows infection control procedures at all times.
- Analyzes and appropriately identifies occurrences requiring documentation in patient records. Consistently documents such occurrences promptly and correctly, using proper documentation practices and correct medical terminology when indicated. Ensures documentation is complete and accurate for all patients.
- Navigates medical records, analyzes and interprets data to form correct conclusions in order to serve clients, identify billable services, and assist other staff members.
- Maintains confidentiality of client and patient financial and medical information.
- Maintains a clean and clutter free work area.
- Maintains cleanliness of surgical suites, prep room, recovery area, exam rooms and cage rooms in accordance with company policy and infection control standards. Performs general housekeeping as needed, including dusting, mopping, sweeping, and window cleaning. Maintains cleanliness and sanitary condition of all equipment in the surgical, prep, recovery and animal care areas.
- Ensures proper disposal of regulated medical waste and sharps.
- Cleans, wraps and sterilizes surgical instruments in accordance with company policy.
- Maintains cages, carriers, traps, crates and other areas where animals are housed clean and free of bodily fluids, spills and other soil at all times.
- Immediately cleans up any bodily fluids, solids or hair to ensure safe and clean work environment.
- Provides basic first aid as appropriate in accordance with accepted veterinary standards and as directed by licensed veterinarian staff.
- In the absence of licensed veterinary staff, provides basic first aid to animals presented to the clinic in emergency and expediently refers to an appropriate service provider, calling ahead to the referral hospital to provide information on the animal’s condition and expected time of arrival as needed and as appropriate; all in accordance with company policy and/or veterinarian orders provided by telephone.
- Provides support of licensed veterinary staff in patient emergencies, including respiratory & cardiac support, preparation and administration of medications, fluids and IV solutions as ordered by the veterinarian.
- Regular attendance and punctuality is required. Vacations, call outs, and tardiness must be discussed with the direct supervisor by phone or in person.
- Flexibility in schedule is required, including the ability to work evening, early morning and weekends. Overtime may be needed as determined by the needs of the organization.
All employees, regardless of position, may be called upon to handle animals.
Other duties as assigned.
Education & Qualifications
- 1 year professional experience in a veterinary office setting required
- Experience in a high volume spay/neuter setting preferred
- Valid NJ Driver’s license required to drive company vehicles
- Completion of formal Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Technology training program preferred
- Veterinary Technician Certification a plus
Knowledge & Skill Requirements
- Must embrace the mission and goals of the organization
- Ability to work effectively and efficiently in a hectic, high pressure environment
- Service oriented, polite and professional
- Able to recognize warning signs in animal behavior
- Ability to understand and explain common and complex medical issues
- Ability to read and understand technical medical information and instructions
- Basic math skills adequate to correctly calculate medication doses
- Basic computer literacy – ability to learn practice software
- Ability to read, write and communicate verbally and clearly in English (bilingual English/Spanish is a plus)
Physical Requirements/Work Environment
- High volume, hectic Veterinary office similar to a medical care/urgent care environment.
- Noise level varies; animals will make noise including dogs barking, cats meowing or screeching, telephones ringing, equipment alert tones.
- Must be able to stand and walk for up to 10 hours.
- Must be able to repeatedly lift and carry loads up to 50 pounds throughout the day; must be able to carry heavier loads with assistance.
- Must be able to bend, kneel and reach repeatedly.
- Must be physically able to prepare/administer treatments and medications and operate instruments and equipment.
- Must possess visual, olfactory and auditory acuity sufficient to ensure accurate assessment of patients, reading instruments or test results and operation of equipment.
- Must be able to work, reach and lift on hands and knees.
- Must be able to safely stand, reach and lift using a ladder and step stool.
- Must be able to cope with death adequately so as to offer appropriate support to the bereaved owner.
- Must be able to function effectively during emergency situations so as to provide support to patients and veterinary staff.
- Must be able to recognize a need for assistance and ask for help.
- Services may be provided occasionally off site, outdoors or indoors in temporary settings throughout NJ.