The Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties, a subcommittee of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, has awarded provisional recognition to the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians.
This means the AVBT is now the fifth recognized veterinary technician specialty. NAVTA also acknowledges specialties in emergency/critical care, anesthesia, dentistry, and internal medicine.
The decision was made during a meeting at the July 2008 AVMA Annual Convention in New Orleans. The AVBT will be inducted as a specialty at the NAVTA annual general membership meeting at the North American Veterinary Conference January in Orlando.
For more information on the new specialty for veterinary technicians, visit www.svbt.org.
NAVTA President Julie Legred said the specialty groups applying—there were two this year—go through quite a process.
"They have to prove that with that specialty there is a need, and that enough technicians can meet the specific requirements for that specialty. They've usually had people working in the field seven years, and a certain number of them are there to form an initial group where they are actually doing the planning and proving the need is there," Legred explained.
The first testing date for qualified veterinary technicians will likely occur in late 2009 or early 2010, Legred said.
Being recognized in a specialty gives more validation, Legred said, and hopefully for the veterinary technician, greater pay will result.
"I think there are more and more (veterinary) specialty practices coming about, and with this, the increased need for veterinary technicians to specialize in a specific area," Legred said.
Looking to next year, veterinary technicians in a few disciplines have indicated interest in forming a specialty. Dermatology, for example, is hoping to have its petition completed for April 2009.
The committee also is preparing to implement new initiatives next year. These include a feature section in the NAVTA Journal for each NAVTA-recognized specialty academies, continuing education programs for veterinary technician specialists, and networking and support to organizations or individuals trying to start a veterinary technician specialty academy.