Veterinarians are licensed health professionals who look after the health and welfare of animals and who protect the public health in the process. It is their job to diagnose, treat, and study different diseases and medical conditions of pets and other animals.
Veterinarian Primary Duties
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), veterinarians examine animals to find out more about their health problems and give a diagnosis. They diagnose and treat their animal patients for diseases. They also treat and dress the animals’ wounds. Veterinarians even conduct surgeries on animals. It is also their responsibility to test for and perform vaccinations on animals. Their job requires them to operate various types of medical equipment, such as X-ray machines. Veterinarians don’t only attend to the needs of the animals. They also educate animal owners about the medical conditions of their pet, general care, and treatments. They prescribe medication and even recommend euthanasia if a cure is no longer available. This procedure is also considered for animals that can no longer carry out their day-to-day activities on their own, significantly reducing their quality of life, due to a condition.
Veterinarians are trained to develop a diagnosis based solely on the signs and symptoms shown by the animals since they can’t talk. This makes their job tougher than that of a general practitioner. They consider their personal observations, ask for the owner’s perspective, and study the results of pertinent diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, blood tests, and CT scans, among others.
As trained animal health professionals, veterinarians must advice animal owners on how to take care of their pets. This includes educating these owners on what to feed their pets, what exercises to maintain for the animals, how to interact and play with the animals, and more.
Veterinarians must administer preventative treatment. This is important not only for the welfare of the animals, but for the safety of the public as well. There are more and more diseases that are hosted by animals and are then transferred to humans, such as salmonella and rabies. Veterinarians are responsible for stopping these diseases from affecting the public by implementing public education programs, vaccinating vulnerable animals, and conducting biomedical research in health institutions and universities.
Check also Veterinarian educational requirements and training.
Veterinarian Expected Work Environment
Most veterinarians are employed in private veterinary clinics, although there are also available posts for them in zoos, laboratories, racetracks, universities, and government agencies.
Some veterinarians are based in a clinic, while others divide their working hours between the clinic and the field, such as farms or ranches. Those who are hired in the farm often have to work outside, regardless of the weather.
Due to their work, veterinarians may be exposed to emotionally exhausting moments. It can be difficult for them to see sick animals.
Occupational hazards include being scratched or bitten on the job. These incidents are quite hard to avoid, but these can be minimized by learning how to handle the animals properly.
Veterinarians who work in clinics that provide emergency care usually have to pull off weekend and night shifts. Overtime work is quite common to the extent that about 25% of their profession usually render over 50 hours of work per week.