How can better support for veterinary technicians benefit everyone in the veterinary profession?
A new panel of AVMA volunteers will soon begin examining ways to better support and advance veterinary technicians, and empower them to maximize the ways in which they use their full skillset and education in all aspects of veterinary practice.
The Committee on Advancing Veterinary Technicians and Technologists was created by the AVMA Board of Directors in November 2022 , and is now accepting applications from volunteers interested in serving on the panel. The committee will examine questions that are crucial to both technician satisfaction and practice success.
Applications are due March 31, 2023, for 12 positions on the new committee. Volunteers will serve terms of either two, four, or six years, exploring and advising the Board of Directors on matters of importance to veterinary technology:
- 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?
The new committee will work collaboratively with the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), which oversees accreditation of veterinary technology education programs. Learn more about the new panel and how to apply.
How supporting technicians helps veterinary practices
The new committee’s efforts will be an important part of AVMA’s overarching work to address the workforce issues facing veterinary practices—including staffing shortages, high turnover rates, stress, and burnout across our teams.
A variety of factors are behind these issues, including remnants of the impacts of COVID-19, more veterinarians opting for relief work or fewer hours, increased demand for high-value veterinary services, growth in practice size and numbers, and private and/or public practice shortages in some rural areas.
A big source of stress in veterinary practices is the shortage of veterinary technicians. And research shows us that an important path to job satisfaction for technicians lies in providing opportunities for technicians to use all of their skills and training, and to contribute at higher levels to the practice. The new Committee on Advancing Veterinary Technicians and Technologists will be looking specifically at ways to help enable that.
AVMA’s comprehensive approach to workforce solutions
The AVMA’s strategic approach to address the workforce situation also incorporates a broad array of other tactics. The focus for these includes providing data and insights to support decision-making; developing practical tools for common challenges; conducting research to support long-term strategy development; and convening key conversations to define and create solutions. Here are a few specific initiatives:
- AVMA is collaborating with Cornell University to conduct a clinical trial study investigating ways to address burnout in the veterinary profession. The study is made possible through research funding support from Zoetis.
- The AVMA Workforce Modelling Project aggregates historical workforce data into an economic model. This work is in the baseline validation stage, and preliminary results are expected in 2023.
- The Veterinary Industry Tracker keeps a pulse on veterinary practice trends and economic health and is available to everyone in the profession in an interactive dashboard.
- Starting in the fourth quarter of 2022, the AVMA is convening a series of roundtable discussions focused on gathering workforce-related information, sharing data, and brainstorming ways to ensure that the needs of our varied clients, patients, communities, and team members can be met. Five roundtables have been held to date.
- The AVMA Working Group on the Utilization of Veterinary Technicians continues its research on understanding and overcoming the barriers to collaboration among members of the veterinary healthcare team.