The holiday season is in full swing, critters near and far are tolerating (or not) Santa costumes, and no doubt you are scrambling to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. If you are lucky enough to have a veterinary technician on your gift list, look no further! Here are 10 things that would make any vet tech’s tail wag for joy.
10. First Aid Kit: Maybe not the most fun or creative gift idea, but that vet tech will be thanking their lucky stars for you when the time comes. Because inevitably in any vet techs career, the need arises for lots of hemostasis and disinfectant supplies. Things to include:
- Band Aids or other adhesive bandages
- Sterile gauze sponges
- Ace bandages
- Curved tip syringes (good for flushing puncture wounds)
- Triple antibiotic ointment
- Betadine solution
- Ice pack
9. Set of pens, highlighters, and dry erase markers: For National Veterinary Technician Week, one of our surgeons gave all of the technicians little boxes of writing utensils. He even personalized each box of pens by including our initials on the outside of it. It was a nice, practical gift that came in handy for writing up records, highlighting treatment sheets, and writing patients on the surgery white board. It was the perfect gift for someone like me, who cannot for the life of her remember where she last put down her pen. Make sure the pens are either blue or black ink (remember patient records are legal documents!) and have fun with highlighter and marker colors.
8. Hand lotion and sanitizer: Veterinary technicians touch gross stuff. It’s just what we do. This leads to us having to wash our hands every 5 minutes. Add this to all the scars of bites and scratches earned long ago, and by the end of the day our hands look like we just became the next zombie on The Walking Dead. To prevent your vet tech from confusing others that the zombie apocalypse has occurred, consider giving them travel size bottles of nice smelling lotion and/or sanitizer that they can carry around in their scrub pockets. Or consider industrial size dispensers they can sit on the counter at work. Whatever you think will float their boat and still keep them in the running for that hand model career we all think of falling back on in case this vet tech thing doesn’t work out.
7. Personalized mug or thermos: A lot of veterinary hospitals won’t let their employees eat or drink in patient treatment or lab areas due to OSHA and just plain common sense. Help your vet tech easily find their drink in the employee lounge by getting them a personalized mug or thermos. You can find all sorts of cute drink containers that will keep your veterinary technicians well hydrated (or well caffeinated) at websites such as cafepress.com. Keep in mind that, due to OSHA laws, a lot of vet techs need their drink containers to be covered at all times.
6. Vet tech t-shirts and apparel: Vet techs love their jobs. Yes, I am making a sweeping generalization, but the fact that websites such as zazzle.com and cafepress.com have special veterinary medicine apparel sections proves my point. Just do a “veterinary technician” search on one of these websites and pick the one that best fits your vet tech.
5. Surgery cap: If your vet tech is involved in a lot of surgery, this is a great way to personalize a gift. There are countless scrub stores and websites that make scrub caps for men and women in all sorts of patterns and colors. Or if you’re crafty and have some sewing skills, you can research how to make one yourself. There are a couple of different styles for women including the bouffant cap (for those with long hair) and caps with pony tail holders.
4. Engraved bandage scissors: No matter what area of veterinary medicine they work in, vet techs are always in need of bandage scissors. Consider getting their name or favorite catch phrase engraved on their scissors.
3. Gift card to local scrub store: If you’re just not sure what the vet tech on your gift list needs, consider getting them a simple gift card to a local or online scrub store. They will surely be grateful when they accidentally ruin their favorite pair of scrub pants with bleach stains.
2. Waterproof watch: It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but basic requirements are:
- Plastic or some other material that is easily rinsed off, disinfected, and immediately dry,
- Second hand or second counter. The actual time isn’t really that important because our job is never done and we never leave on time anyway. But we do need to be able to easily count seconds for taking vitals.
- A timer feature is handy for keeping track of lab tests readings.
- Having the date display is optional, but does come in handy.
1. Stethoscope: Any veterinary technician covets their very own stethoscope, so if you’re able and willing to spend a little extra money on your special veterinary technician, consider this a perfect gift. A favorite (and affordable) among veterinary technicians is the Littman Classic. And, of course, consider personalizing their stethoscope with an engraved ID tag.
Happy Holidays from Let’s Talk Veterinary Technology!