Veterinary technicians often don't toot their horns loud enough, at least according to Denise Mikita, president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.
This is why she's happy there's National Veterinary Technician Week, held Oct. 10-16 this year and sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition.
"There are a lot of caring people who work really hard and everyone needs to be recognized. It's a nice way to say we know what you're doing on a day-to-day basis, and we appreciate it. To identify one week and make it your own is nice," Mikita said.
The week serves a dual purpose, she said, in that it provides veterinary technicians an opportunity to inform the public about what they do, and explain how it is different from the work of veterinarians and veterinary assistants.
"During this week, it gives an opportunity for national groups, state associations, and clinics to bring awareness to the public of the specific role of the vet tech. When a client starts asking what a vet tech is, they'll also ask what a vet assistant is. You just started a communication and education process with them. It elevates the veterinary team and brings awareness to one section of that team," Mikita said.
This year's theme is "Hands-on Healing," a catchphrase relating to what veterinary technicians do on a daily basis for clients and patients. Celebrating for one week every year solidifies the commitment every veterinary technician gives to the profession of veterinary medicine, according to a NAVTA press release. National Veterinary Technician Week has been an annual tradition since June 1993, when NAVTA passed a resolution declaring the third week in October as such.
This year, some veterinary technology schools and veterinary clinics will be holding open houses. Others will give discounts on services performed by veterinary technicians, such as ear cleanings and nail clippings. NAVTA sends posters to every member for display.
Going beyond National Veterinary Technician Week, Mikita encourages veterinary technicians to join their state association and NAVTA and become involved.
"They work for the same thing but in different ways," she said.
Visit www.navta.net/NVTW.php for more information on National Veterinary Technician Week.