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Veterinarian (DVM) – Leading the Team Veterinarians are doctors trained to protect the health of animals. In a clinical hospital environment, veterinarians work with large and small animals to evaluate animals’ health, diagnose and treat illnesses, provide routine preventive care (such as vaccines), prescribe medication, and perform surgery. Like human physicians, some veterinarians specialize in areas such as surgery, internal medicine, ophthalmology or dentistry. In addition to their duties in the clinical practice, veterinarians may choose to work in zoos, wildlife parks, or aquariums. Successful Veterinarian attributes include a strong science and math education, the ability to work well with animals and their owners, business, and management training, and leadership and organizational behavior skills.
Veterinary Technician (RVT) - Veterinary technicians perform valuable medical and non-medical services in the clinical practice. They are graduates of an AVMA accredited program in veterinary technology, which usually leads to an Associate or Bachelor degree. The RVT is educated and trained to support the veterinarian by assisting with surgery, laboratory procedures, radiography, anesthesiology, prescribed treatment and nursing, and client education. Almost every state requires a veterinary technician to pass a credentialing exam to ensure a high level of competency, represented by being a Registered Veterinary Technician. Some RVTs pursue specialties in emergency and critical care, anesthesiology, internal medicine, animal behavior, or dentistry. Personal attributes that contribute to a successful career include a strong science background, an ability to work well with people and animals, and good communication and decision-making skills.
Practice Manager - Most large hospitals find that having a hospital (or practice) manager greatly improves the team's efficiency. This person is responsible for managing the business functions of the practice. Depending upon the size and type of hospital, the manager’s duties could include personnel hiring and supervision, budget and inventory management, accounting, marketing, and developing recordkeeping and other business standards for practice. A strong business background, computer knowledge, and desire to work with people are key attributes for success as a hospital manager.
Veterinary Assistant - In some hospitals, a veterinary assistant supports the veterinarian and/or the veterinary technician in their daily tasks. The assistant may be asked to perform kennel work, assist in the restraint and handling of animals, feed and exercise the animals, or spend time on clerical duties. There is no credentialing exam for the veterinary assistant; however, training programs are available. The ability to listen, communicate efficiently, and handle multiple assignments are skills that make a veterinary assistant an important member of the hospital team.
Veterinary Receptionist - The receptionist or client service representative is usually the first person to welcome a client into the hospital and the last person the client sees when they leave. The interactions he or she has with a client can determine how the client perceives the quality of medical services being offered. A good receptionist must have excellent communication skills and be able to handle a variety of questions and requests from clients and the public. In addition to setting appointments, responding to inquiries about hospital services, greeting clients, and managing callbacks, a receptionist may also perform accounting, marketing, or client counseling duties. A customer service attitude, the ability to manage multiple tasks, and professionalism under stress are important attributes for a hospital receptionist.