(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) October 16, 2022—During National Veterinary Technician Week, October 16-22, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is celebrating the invaluable contributions that veterinary technicians provide for the health and welfare of animals; and sharing resources with veterinarians to make the most of these integral members of the veterinary health care team.
This year’s National Veterinary Technician Week theme is “Veterinary Technicians’ Resilience is the Heart of Veterinary Medicine.”
“As veterinarians, we work side-by-side with veterinary technicians to treat animals, and we rely on veterinary technicians as a crucial part of our teams in providing quality care,” said Dr. Lori Teller, president of the AVMA. “The skills and expertise of certified veterinary technicians are essential not only in clinical settings, but also in biomedical research, uniformed services, food safety inspection and veterinary education.”
“This year’s celebration focuses on the resiliency of Veterinary Technicians,” said Ashli Selke, RVT, CVT, president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians (NAVTA). “One definition of ‘resilience’ that I think is extremely appropriate for veterinary technicians is, ‘the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.’ That may cause a chuckle, thinking that veterinary technicians have been deformed by stress, but there is truth in that. Veterinary Technicians have shown great ability to recover from or adjust to stress and change, especially over the last two years.”
As part of their well-being efforts, NAVTA has created wellness resources for veterinary technicians, and the AVMA has additional tools and resources that support personal and professional wellbeing of veterinary professionals at AVMA.org/Wellbeing.
In addition to celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week, the AVMA supports the essential work of veterinary technicians in many ways. The AVMA has a close partnership with NAVTA, working together on initiatives such as NAVTA’s title protection initiatives to ensure the title of veterinary technician is used consistently and correctly, and encouraging AVMA members to support veterinary technicians’ ability to join NAVTA and receive the many benefits they provide.
The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) leads the accreditation of educational programming in veterinary technology, ensuring that technicians receive a proper education as they prepare to fulfill their vital roles. There are currently more than 200 veterinary technician programs in the United States accredited by the AVMA’s CVTEA, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in July.
The AVMA also provides continuing education for veterinary technicians and veterinary technician students at the annual AVMA Convention, focusing on both professional and personal growth, and offers special events geared toward veterinary technicians.
Leveraging veterinary technicians to the top of their degree
The AVMA also promotes leveraging credentialed veterinary technicians to improve productivity and staff satisfaction by enhancing how their skills are employed, particularly in situations when veterinary practices are experiencing operational capacity challenges.
As shown in the AVMA Report on the Economic State of the Veterinary Profession, there is a correlation between veterinary technicians’ job satisfaction and the application of the skills and knowledge acquired in their education. Other AVMA research from annual practice surveys has shown a clear link between increased incorporation of credentialed veterinary technicians and increased revenue.
The AVMA funded a Task Force and Working Group on Veterinary Technician Utilization over the last three years. Recommendations produced by the Task Force serve as the basis for ongoing research directed by the Working Group to identify the barriers to appropriate participation and the development of evidence-based solutions.
The AVMA has also published many articles promoting the economic benefits of appropriate collaboration among team members.
The AVMA is currently collaborating with NAVTA to develop resources and tools for veterinarians and veterinary technicians to identify obstacles and provide pathways to support effective collaboration within the practice.
The AVMA has developed an on-demand CE course titled, “How well do you utilize veterinary technicians,” designed to help veterinarians discover how to fully leverage veterinary technicians and their many skills, and explore how their practices measure up against other practices and current standards.
“Effective empowerment of veterinary technicians includes assigning them skilled tasks such as monitoring a patient under anesthesia or providing counseling about what to expect as puppies or kittens grow and develop,” said Dr. Teller. “When we’re using veterinary technicians to their full capabilities, it drives practice efficiency, job satisfaction and wellbeing for everyone on the veterinary health care team.”
First celebrated in 1993, National Veterinary Technician Week takes place in the third week of October each year. To help celebrate veterinary technicians, the AVMA has developed free social media images that are available to download from the AVMA’s website. Veterinarians can use the AVMA's veterinary technicians brochure in their practices, hospitals or at community events to educate people about the important work of veterinary technicians, and AVMA’s Veterinary Technician Utilization resources can help clinics make full use of veterinary technicians to boost practice operations and wellbeing. Empowering veterinary technicians to identify challenges within a practice can give them an opportunity to help design solutions. Finally, NAVTA has a National Veterinary Technician Week kit to help focus favorable attention on the profession through a variety of activities.
For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell/text) or msanfilippoavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).