A veterinary technologist is a graduate of a four-year baccalaureate AVMA-accredited program in veterinary technology.
Veterinary assistant: The adjectives animal, veterinary, ward, or hospital combined with the nouns attendant, caretaker, or assistant are titles sometimes used for individuals where training, knowledge, and skills are less than that required for identification as a veterinary technician or veterinary technologist.
AVMA will encourage schools, organizations, and regulatory authorities to use the standard terminology described above, but will not attempt to interfere, except through educational efforts, with the actual terminology used.
The duties of veterinary technicians shall be performed under the direction, supervision, and responsibility of veterinarians. These duties shall be accomplished in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. These duties shall not include diagnosing, prescribing, or performing surgery except where explicitly permitted by regulation.
The veterinary technician must be knowledgeable in the care and handling of animals, their normal and abnormal life processes, medical and surgical nursing, anesthesiology, diagnostic imaging, and clinical laboratory procedures.
The AVMA encourages colleges/schools of veterinary medicine to demonstrate proper veterinary technician utilization for the veterinary students, the economic value of such utilization, and the advantages of effective utilization of veterinary technicians in the delivery of quality veterinary care. Cooperation and affiliation between veterinary technology programs and veterinary colleges/schools is encouraged.
The AVMA makes an ongoing effort to determine and address present and future manpower needs in the field of veterinary technology. Placement services for veterinary technicians are available from the AVMA Career Development Center.
The AVMA recognizes the National Association for Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) as the national organization representing veterinary technicians and the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE) as the national organization representing veterinary technician educators.
The AVMA welcomes and encourages the participation and support of veterinary technicians in public relations efforts to promote the use of veterinary services including the appropriate utilization of veterinary technicians.
The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) is charged with the responsibility of providing and monitoring AVMA accreditation of programs in veterinary technology. All accredited programs must meet the Standards of Accreditation of the CVTEA to ensure the quality of the educational experience and the assessment of student knowledge and skills.
Accreditation of veterinary medical education programs is conducted within the Education and Research Division of the AVMA. Accreditation activities take place in the Center for Veterinary Education Accreditation. The Council on Education (COE) accredits DVM or equivalent educational programs and the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) accredits veterinary technology programs.
An institution with a distance learning program associated with a traditional program may request that the distance learning program be accredited separately.
State veterinary practice acts provide for limitations on veterinary activities performed by non-veterinarians. The AVMA Model Practice Act includes provisions to permit veterinary technicians to perform all activities in which they are educated, but does not allow them to diagnose, prescribe, or perform surgery.
At its June 2006 meeting, the AVMA Executive Board approved a recommendation that the AVMA recommends that veterinary technician credentialing (i.e., licensing, registration, or certification ) entities in the US recognize graduates of Canadian Veterinary medical Association (CVMA)-accredited veterinary technology programs as eligible for credentialing. In turn, the CVMA recommends that Canadian provincial licensing bodies recognize graduates of AVMA-accredited veterinary technology programs as being eligible for licensure. As always, eligibility for licensure/registration/certification of veterinary technicians is the purview of each state and provincial credentialing agency.
Because establishment of a veterinary assistant program may dilute the instructional resources available for the accredited veterinary technology program, the CVTEA reserves the right to request information about such a program and its relationship with the accredited program.
For more information , please contact: Education and Research Division, Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities
Additional Resources: Veterinary Technology Programs accredited by the AVMA CVTEA Veterinary Technology Programs