All About Techs – Featuring Erika Martin

To wrap up National Veterinary Technician Week, we interviewed Erika Martin about what it’s like to be a vet tech! Erika is a certified veterinary technician and has been at Blum for five years.

A common misconception about working as a vet tech is that they get to play with puppies and kittens all day. Our  vet techs do so much more! According to Erika, “Throughout the day we are helping the doctors by drawing blood, placing IV catheters, taking radiographs, inducing and monitoring anesthesia (for surgeries and/or dental cleanings), prepping and assisting in surgery, treating hospitalized patients, reading cytologies under the microscope, etc. We are usually on our feet all day except for our lunch break. Basically, if you’re in an appointment and your doctor says we’re taking your pet to the treatment area, that’s where a tech steps in and works with your pet.”

Once she learned about what a vet tech does, Erika knew this was the career for her. Erika said she feels like she has a purpose every day at work when she gets to help animals. Erika said it best in her own words, “We love your pets. Our job is hard and stressful (and sometimes really messy and gross!), but it is so worth it. We do everything to keep your pet happy and calm while he or she is here with us. We develop a bond. We are joyful when a patient recovers from an illness and we are heartbroken when an owner has to say goodbye. We treat your pets as we would our own.”

Some days working at an animal hospital can be tough, but Erika describes two rewarding parts about being a vet tech. Blum has started implementing Fear Free protocols to help all pets who come in have a more positive experience. Erika said working with the Fear Free Initiative has been rewarding because “the feeling you get when a scared or fractious animal starts to trust and work with you is amazing. They don’t always understand that we are just trying to help and give them the best care possible.” The other rewarding part for Erika about being a Vet Tech is when she gets to see a sick or critical patient get better and go home. She explains, “Techs put a lot of time and energy (both physical and emotional) into every patient. When a critical case recovers and can be reunited with his/her family, it’s a reminder of why we do what we do.”

Our vet techs are essential to Blum, and we are so lucky to have an incredible team who works hard and brings a wide array of veterinary knowledge to us!

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.