Career choice: Animal Health Technologist

An Animal Health Technologist (AHT) is a key component to any veterinary hospital

(L to r) AHT’s Kristyn Atkinson and Chellan Robinson taking a heart rate on Harley the cat

(L to r) AHT’s Kristyn Atkinson and Chellan Robinson taking a heart rate on Harley the cat

As time goes on, the human-animal bond is becoming more important to society. More and more people are buying pets or starting hobby farms. Pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of their pets’ health, and they want to know who is contributing to their care while visiting the veterinary clinic.

An Animal Health Technologist (AHT) is a key component to any veterinary hospital. AHTs work under the supervision of a veterinarian and are trained in many different procedures regarding a wide variety of species. We are able to perform many duties including, but not limited to: diagnostic imagery, laboratory analysis, surgical assistance, anesthesia, nursing care and of course, TLC. AHTs have training in animal behaviour and can offer assistance regarding behaviour issues that may be occurring at your home. Animal Health Technologist’s are full of information regarding; grooming, nail trims, diet & nutrition, seasonal parasites, vaccine regimes, breeding, the list goes on and on.

An AHTs role is never dull, we can be trained to work in many different environments such as: vet clinics – both large animal and small, wildlife rehabilitation, research facilities, zoos, feed lots – herd health, pet food and pharmaceutical sales and animal shelters.

Anyone interested in pursuing an exciting career as an Animal Health Technologist should have a basic understanding of biology, chemistry and math before applying to an accredited AHT diploma program. Upon completion of the program a national exam is written and upon passing this exam the AHT will then become a Registered Animal Health Technologist.

Being a technologist involves more than just cuddling with cute baby animals (although we do that a lot!) AHTs need to be problem solvers, multitaskers, organizers, question askers and life long learners.

Whether called a Veterinary technician, Veterinary technologist, Veterinary Nurse, or an Animal Health Technologist, we will always provide your animal with the utmost care and compassion.

Article written by Kristyn Atkinson, Kate Graham, and Chellan Robinson from the Thompson Rivers University – Animal Health Technology Program – Class of 2012.