Empowering veterinary technicians to use all of their training and skills in their daily work is one of the most effective ways to address the lingering workforce challenges that many of our practices face.
As our profession prepares to celebrate National Veterinary Technician Week beginning Sunday, October 15, a new AVMA panel tasked with identifying ways to support veterinary technicians is ready to kick off its work.
The AVMA Committee on Advancing Veterinary Technicians and Technologists holds its first in-person meeting October 23-24. The committee will examine questions that are crucial to both practice success and the satisfaction of veterinary technicians. For example:
- How can the AVMA and the veterinary community help support and advance the veterinary technology profession?
- What new resources can be developed to maximize the opportunity for veterinary technicians to fully use their skills and education in all aspects of veterinary practice?
Committee members include specialist and non-specialist veterinary technicians; veterinarians who work with different species; and representatives from the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators, and the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities®.
AVMA research to advance veterinary technicians and practices
Other AVMA initiatives already are underway to advance veterinary technicians’ roles in daily practice. Notably, an AVMA-funded research study is underway to identify the most common barriers to fully leveraging veterinary technicians in veterinary practice, along with possible solutions. The study is in the early stages, with data collection running through September 2024. It is anticipated to be just the first in a series of studies on veterinary technicians.
Scholarships and grants for veterinary technicians
Another important source of AVMA support for veterinary technicians is financial aid, in the form of scholarships and grants.
To celebrate National Veterinary Technician Week, the AVMA joined with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) to offer 35 scholarships for veterinary technicians to receive mentoring through MentorVet Tech. The scholarships are supported by educational partners Covetrus and Pets Best. Applications are due October 21, 2023. Learn more.
Additionally, the AVMA’s charitable arm, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), awards more than 250 educational scholarships to veterinary technician students each year through two programs, each providing $2,000 per student:
Year-round support for veterinary technicians
The AVMA is an unwavering champion for veterinary technicians, who play crucial roles in
caring for patients, building client relationships, and making veterinary hospitals more efficient.
- The AVMA supports the expansion of veterinary technology programs, title protection and licensing, appropriate credentialling and better recognition of veterinary technicians, and improved pay and benefits.
- For more than five decades, the AVMA has supported the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities® (AVMA CVTEA®). The CVTEA helps ensure that when veterinary technicians graduate from veterinary technology programs, they have the education and skills needed to successfully credential and enjoy success in their chosen career.
- Veterinary technicians serve as members of key AVMA policymaking committees, including the AVMA CVTEA®, the CVTEA Selection Committee, the Council on Veterinary Service, and the Convention Education Program Committee.
- The AVMA provides resources that help practice owners and managers discover ways to fully empower veterinary technicians.
What can you do?
Everyone can play a role in supporting and advancing veterinary technicians year-round. One way is by implementing programs that enhance the role of veterinary technicians in our individual practices. To this end, the American Animal Hospital Association has just released new guidelines that provide a roadmap for practices to fully empower veterinary technicians. These guidelines are available to everyone in the profession.
Development of similar guidelines is underway for bovine practice. The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) is accepting applications through October 31, 2023, for member veterinarians and veterinary technicians to serve on a task force that will develop draft guidelines by March 1, 2024. Learn more here.