On Aug. 1 during the AVMA Annual Convention in Atlanta, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America announced a new specialty academy for its members.
The Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians is now approved as an official specialty by NAVTA. The AVNT joins nine other specialties—in dentistry, anesthesia, internal medicine, emergency and critical care, surgery, equine nursing, zoology, behavior, and clinical practice.
The mission of the AVNT is to enhance the skills and knowledge of veterinary nutrition technicians and promote technicians as integral members of the veterinary nutrition team.
"It is important to our profession to identify nutritional issues in animals and educate veterinary technicians on how to handle nutrition-related issues," said AVNT Chair Kara Burns, MS, MEd, LVT. "Nutrition is vital to the health of all of our patients."
The NAVTA Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties was formed in 1994 and is recognized by the AVMA. The committee provides guidelines to veterinary technician organizations to facilitate the formation of specialties.
NAVTA President Denise Mikita, MS, CVT, told JAVMA that organizations are working hard in pursuit of recognition.
"It makes us proud to put our stamp of approval on these groups," Mikita said. "The amazing thing is how many are coming up now. … We do encourage academies to set high standards. It should be a challenge."
Mikita added, "We applaud nutrition as the newest one and encourage others to keep up the hard work. Nutrition is certainly an area that's slightly overlooked from a veterinary technician's standpoint, even though it's part of our job. We just get a brushing of everything in our two years of schooling."