In 2021, October 17 to 23 is National Vet Tech Appreciation Week. Veterinary technicians are crucial staff at every vet office all around the world. Just as modern dentistry uses a “four hands” approach where assistants and doctors work in tandem, a veterinarian’s right-hand person is the vet tech, assisting vitally in the preservation of animal health and welfare. To this end, each year National Veterinary Tech Week serves to spotlight the profession and show gratitude to those special vet techs serving the needs of animals and supporting veterinarians.
Vet techs are versatile and highly-trained experts. Compared to human medicine, a vet tech can serve as a laboratory technician, a respiratory therapist, a dietician, a nurse, a radiation tech, an anesthesiologist, and a physical therapist in a single role. Although veterinarian offices can’t function without the contributions of vet techs, their contributions to pet healthcare are often underestimated. To celebrate these essential employees, Vet Tech Appreciation Week educates pet owners and creates collegiality in veterinary clinics.
Beginning in 1993 by a National Veterinary Technician Association (NATVA) resolution, Vet Tech Appreciation Week exists to enlighten the public about veterinary technicians and explore the field in greater detail. Established in the third week of every October, NATVA oversees proceedings, publications, and changes in the week’s traditions.
On its website, the purpose of the week is outlined. Firstly, to “reinforce the value and professionalism of veterinary technicians.” Secondly, to “provide an opportunity for veterinary technicians to encourage one another for excellent work ethic and team building,” and thirdly, to “acknowledge a quality relationship with veterinarians and other veterinary professionals.”
Everyone likes to be appreciated for their work and National Vet Appreciation Week is a great time to say “thank you” to vet techs who work alongside veterinarians to care for your pet’s health. Here are some gift ideas for vet techs to celebrate National Vet Tech Appreciation Week.
Small and Sentimental Gifts for Vet Techs
Vet Tech Face Masks
Face masks are a must-have accessory in 2021 to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in public places, including vet tech colleges and clinics. And while it’s true that many colleges are providing online learning options, most vet tech training programs still require socially distanced in-person interaction with people and their pets while wearing face coverings.
To keep themselves and others healthy, Teepublic has a wide selection of masks for veterinary professionals who are proud to express themselves as essential personnel, share their pride for learning, and express light-hearted humor during unprecedented stressful times.
Vet Tech Casual T-Shirt
Although vet techs typically are seen in medical scrubs, graphic tees are a perfect way to express pride for one’s job or gratitude for what a vet tech colleague contributes to your and your pet’s life. A funny vet tech shirt can help you to share a laugh with a colleague or lighten the mood for a patient, especially those with technical mastery.
For a more heartfelt approach, this Live, Love, Heal design sends a positive message. And for the patriotic vet tech, a shirt that shows his or her dedication to his field is just the right kind of appreciation gift.
Customized Clothing or Merchandise
There are a host of websites that offer customization features, allowing you to upload or design and apply that design to t-shirts, mugs, stickers, mousepads, clipboards, picture frames, and many other commonplace items.
Sites like Redbubble, Cafe Press, Teespring, and Spreadshirt afford a wide and variable set of options for applying either premade or custom images and text to merchandise of all kinds. I Love Veterinary is also a wonderful source for textile gifts.
As vet techs are in a state of perpetual note-taking and the checking of vitals, a reliable writing utensil is of the utmost importance. Perhaps an engraved ink pen (with pocket clip, of course) sporting their initials or credentials can remind them of their value to the world of veterinary medicine.
Veterinary Anatomy Coloring Book
Who says studying has to be hard? The Veterinary Anatomy Coloring Book is an excellent means of studying and having fun at the very same time. Containing almost 400 illustrations and anatomical descriptions, aspiring and experienced vet techs alike can learn all about anatomy with this coloring book. It presents a guide through the head, neck, back, thorax, abdomen, extremities, reproductive organs, and the other body parts of cats, horses, dogs, goats, birds, pigs, and cows.
It even has a section on exotic animals that ushers you through the anatomy of small woodland animals such as rabbits, snakes, rodents, ferrets, and lizards.
Office Gadgets and Reference Gifts for Vet Techs
Vet techs need accurate watches loaded with features to help them with calculations for anesthetic, sedation, and medication proportions. For men, Casio’s Quartz Resin Sports Watch can prove the perfect utilitarian tool for the veterinary professional. For women, the Timex Women’s Ironman Transit Watch offers a sleek and stylish band in multiple colors with a full readout.
For vet techs who don’t want a timepiece to get in the way of working with animals, a Stethoscope Watch is a perfect time-keeping accessory that fits on a stethoscope tube and features an easy-to-read 24-hour display and 15-second quadrants housed in a water-resistant case for easy disinfecting throughout the day.
The Veterinary Technician’s Pocket Partner
This Veterinary Technician’s Pocket Partner reference brochure is the perfect document to have on-hand for the vet tech who needs to check their math on a calculation or determine how best to alleviate an animal patient’s pain. It was written and designed by Marisa Bauer, a CVT who has worked full-time in the field since 2000 and has clinical experience working in small animal medicine, emergency medicine, and laboratory medicine.
A product of the Cengage Corporation, an international curriculum publisher, the reference guide also boasts charts, tables, and cross-referencing materials to help quickly diagnose emergencies and animal injuries.
Vet techs will always require high-quality tools to do their work. This set of 3 EMI Lister Bandage Scissors, sizes 3.5”, 4.5”, and 5.5” will help your favorite vet tech choose the pair of scissors that best suits the thickness of bandage, bio-contaminants that may have destroyed the bandage, and location of the wound to be treated.
These scissors are made of stainless steel and their ergonomic, maneuverable design allows for multiple types of use. A supplementary gift might be a sharpening toolset, which can be found at any medical or veterinary supply chain.
Just as important as bandage scissors are stethoscopes. Used to check heart rate, heart health, breathing activity, and lung health, stethoscopes allow vet techs to take accurate reads on vitals for animal patients, which they then pass on to the vets they assist.
Like most medical equipment, stethoscopes vary in price and quality. A good entry-level stethoscope is the 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E., a mid-level option is the ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Sculpted Clinician Stethoscope with Tunable AFD Technology, and an excellent top-of-the-line brand is the 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope.
Subscription and Membership Gifts for Vet Techs
Gift Certificates or Gift Cards
Any business or company that sells vet tech supplies or things that vet techs might find useful will almost certainly sell gift cards as well. If you’re the kind of person who wants to show appreciation for a special vet tech in their life but isn’t comfortable giving them any of the items listed above, then a sum of credit toward their self-directed purchase might be the way to go. This will allow them to buy what they need when they need it.
NAVTA is the leading resource and representative organization for vet techs in the United States. Their membership has three levels and gives members access to state-of-the-art publications, dozens of continuing education courses and modules, recertification courses, detailed FAQs that help technicians navigate the complex veterinary world, and NAVTA’s executive board holds special sessions on pressing topics and industry advancements. As a member, vet techs are part of a community of shared knowledge, expertise, and advice.
Today’s Veterinary Nurse Subscription
Today’s Veterinary Nurse subscription can begin as a free trial with the magazine, which boasts a peer-reviewed journal spearheaded by the North American Veterinary Community, or NAVC. It offers RACE-approved medical continuing education articles written and reviewed by veterinary tech science experts.
This includes practical and useful articles on nursing and technical skills that you can apply immediately, news on changes in legislation that affect credentialing or licensing, and inspiration from nationally recognized veterinary technician speakers.