Lead Veterinary Technician

Job Description & Responsibilities

JOB TITLE:    Lead Veterinary Technician (Surgical)

Job Relationships:    Reports to: Executive Director

Works closely with attending veterinarian(s). Coordinates events with Leadership Team. Oversees veterinary assistants and volunteers.

Job Summary:    Responsible for daily care of all surgical patients, medical records, drugs administered, and post-surgical follow-up care. Organizes the medical aspect of outreach events and vaccine clinics.


 Patient Care:

  1. Ensure each patient is receiving excellent care in every aspect during their stay.
  2. Be able to perform all tasks and duties expected of veterinary assistant.
  3. Accurately maintain all necessary drug logs and patient medical records.
  4. Establish the surgical order of patient and maintain the flow throughout the day.
  5. Assist veterinarians as needed. This may include scrubbing or gloving in during surgery.
  6. Calculate, prepare, and oversee administration of all drugs for each patient.
  7. Report any patient concerns to attending veterinarian or immediate supervisor.

General Protocols:

  1. Maintain a clean and safe work environment at all times.
  2. Ensure all “start of day”, “end of day”, and “end of week” tasks are completed.
  3. Maintain cleaning protocol of equipment including autoclave/washer.
  4. Monitor inventory and order supplies as needed to maintain ample supplies.
  5. Notify supervisor of maintenance concerns or out of the ordinary supplies that need ordered.
  6. Review protocols with supervisor/Medical Director and update as needed.

Client Services/Interactions:

  1. Communicate to clients in a professional manner and relay accurate medical information which may include: vaccine protocols, high-risk anesthesia patients, emergencies, special circumstances, and death. Complete appropriate paperwork. Involve Executive Director as needed.
  2. Must be able to explain to clients the safest and least stressful manner in which to handle their pet. Examples: cover traps, lift the dog to assistant, owner accompany their pet.
  3. Responsible for answering post-surgical cell phone, triaging the concern, and providing appropriate response to the client. Collect patient history and schedule recheck appointments as needed.

Supervisory Role:

  1. Provide primary supervision of medical team, establishing their roles for the day and break periods.
  2. Ensure proper training, time management, and motivation for medical team.
  3. Primary liaison between veterinarian(s) and medical team.
  4. Manage positive staff communications. Plan monthly staff meeting/training with Executive Director, focusing on building a cohesive team environment.
  5. Oversee the medical aspect of in-house and off-site vaccine/microchip events.



Preference of Licensed Veterinary Technician with 2 years of experience in an animal care setting. Additional experience can be substituted for education/licensure.

Interpersonal skills:

  • Unconditional Regard: Ability to keep interactions with clients, partners, supporters, and staff professional and positive at all times. Able to defer judgment of others, creating a safe, empowering, and successful relationship.
  • Positive Attitude: Ability to communicate clearly and work as a team in an optimistic manner, even when stressed.
  • Time Management: Ability to work well in a quick-paced environment, maintain stamina, and prioritize multiple tasks appropriately.
  • Confidentiality: Able to keep all information regarding our patients, clients, organizational partners, and supporters confidential.
  • Mission-oriented: Support and advocate for our mission, understanding the urgency in which we need to act and knowing it’s vital to our success.
  • Resourcefulness: Ability to recognize a process or situation that needs addressed, create an improvement plan, and implement the changes with minimal supervision.
  • Leadership: Present yourself as a positive role model, make sound decisions, provide a clear goal, and inspire others to perform to the best of their ability.

Professional Skills:

  • Ability to interpret animal’s body language and react accordingly.
  • Ability to restrain dogs, cats, and other small animals.
  • Familiar with and understanding of feral/fractious cat behavior.
  • Able to instruct other team members in a positive and constructive manner.
  • Able to lead CPR and direct team member of their role.
  • Ability to train incoming veterinary assistants and veterinary technicians.
  • Possess proficient technical skills including administration of drugs, placement of IV catheters and intubation.

 Patient Interactions:

  • Must always demonstrate excellent judgment when interacting with patients.
  • Will be expected to implement and instruct others on the use of safety equipment when needed to ensure the safety of all people and the patient.
  • Must be able to adjust your body and tone of voice to establish a positive rapport with the patient.
  • Should always consider the stress level of the patient and accommodate to lessen it.
  • Respect ever surgical patient and the value of their life.
  • Must be able to detect a slight change in the patient and adjust your restraint accordingly.

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to work standing for 8 or more hours.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds repeatedly without assistance.
  • Must be able to lift more than 50 pounds repeatedly with assistance.
  • Must have quick reflexes.
  • Must be agile: able to kneel, bend, climb a ladder, and maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Must be observant and notice small/slight changes.
  • Must have the stamina to work quickly for 8 or more hours.
  • Must be able to work in temperature extremes.

Emotional/Mental Requirements:

  • Must be able to work efficiently and effectively in a quick paced, high stress environment.
  • Must be able to respond quickly and remain calm in an emergency situation.
  • Must be able to assess a situation, recognize the need for assistance and ask for help.
  • Must be able to control instincts.
  • Must be able to delegate tasks accordingly.
  • Must be understanding of a patient’s behavior during recovery.
  • Must demonstrate compassion and empathy.
  • Must be accepting of a patient’s death either due to surgical complications or euthanasia.