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Skills Needed to Become a Veterinary X-ray Technician

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X-ray technicians working in a veterinarian's office are trained to assist the veterinarian in the clinic when conducting testing for animal diagnosis, surgeries or post-operation check-ups for people’s sick animals. The education required to become a veterinarian technician is extensive, and each candidate needs specific skills to complete the job successfully and professionally.

Medical Equipment

The veterinarian X-ray technician must know how to operate the medical equipment used in the veterinarian clinic. The equipment used in a veterinarian clinic can include anesthetic machines, cardiac monitors that track the animal’s heart beat and vital signs during surgery and scopes and breathing apparatus that support animals breathe during surgery or emergency situations. The technician should be able to operate the equipments, troubleshoot the devices if they are not working as expected and maintain them, so they are working during emergency situations.

Animal Interaction

A veterinary X-ray technician must love animals and provide the best possible care for the animals. The X-ray technician must interact and calm the animal when it is lying on an examination table, getting ready for an X-ray scan or surgery, while monitoring the vital signs. Although the technician may enjoy playing with the animal, the focus should be on its care and well-being.

Handling and Dressing Wounds

The veterinary X-ray technician must also be able to clean and dress wounds. The technician must work as an assistant and prepare the animal for X-ray scans and address the wounds to save the animal’s life. It is therefore important that the technician knows basic anatomy of various animals.

Reading Scanning Results

Once the X-ray scanning has been completed, the X-ray technician must read and examine the scans to determine the cause of pain or disease for the suffering animal. While the veterinarian himself may be able to read the scans, the veterinarian X-ray technician must provide assistant and support in the diagnosis process to speed up the treatment process.

Good Communication With Pet Owners

The veterinary X-ray technician must be able to communicate the pet owners, once a diagnosis is made on the sick animals. The technician must be able to advise the pet owners about medicines and supplies the pet owners must obtain as part of the treatment plan. The veterinarian X-ray technician should also update the pet owner’s treatment plans and personal files to assist the veterinarian.


Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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