Column | Opinion

A Word From the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America

Within our own profession lies confusion about the scope of duties of a CVT, RVT, LVT or LVMT. The names themselves cause confusion, but more importantly, state practice acts compound that confusion—if veterinary technicians are even mentioned.

Credentialed Veterinary Technicians/Nurses play a vital role in patient care on a daily basis. While many VTs feel they complete more tasks than a human nurse, the responsibility is essentially the same—nursing care of patients.

When the public was surveyed about the role a veterinary technician performs in pet care, a majority do not know what the role is or what constitutes it. Also, they do not feel that schooling is a part of it, while they are certain about the scope of duties a nurse carries out, and the schooling that is required to become an RN.

As a result, the Veterinary Nurse Initiative (VNI) believed there was a need to create change for the better and unite this phenomenal profession. Led by a working group of credentialed veterinary technicians, RNs and a strategist, VNI is aiming high to make changes in all 50 states to standardize credentialing, define the scope of practice, and protect the title. The working group is in the early stages of creating an executive committee made of industry support personnel to further develop and create change.

The VNI was excited to learn of NAVC’s decision to support the standardized credentialing by changing the name of the publication from Today’s Veterinary Technician to Today’s Veterinary Nurse.

“The NAVC fully supports a single credential for veterinary nurses nationwide, and we believe it will improve the level of patient care, reduce pet owners’ confusion, and lead to an improved public perception for the great work these individuals are doing on a daily basis,” said Tom Bohn, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of the NAVC. Lynne E. Johnson, RVT, Editor in Chief of Today’s Veterinary Nurse noted, “I’m thrilled that NAVTA is leading the way with the Veterinary Nurse Initiative. The change to Today’s Veterinary Nurse shows the NAVC support and commitment to the profession and the initiative.”

Banfield, Royal Canin, and BluePearl Veterinary Partners also lend their support to the VNI. “The amount of training veterinary technicians receive builds their knowledge and skills in many areas from patient care to radiography to nutrition,” says Brent Mayabb, DVM and Royal Canin’s Chief Veterinary Officer. “With this extensive training and their commitment to the profession, we fully support the NAVTA-led Veterinary Nurse Initiative to recognize the value veterinary technicians bring to pets and to the veterinary team.”

According to Jennifer Welser, DVM, DAVCO, Chief Medical Officer at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, “We believe the Veterinary Nurse Initiative is an important step toward acknowledging the skill exhibited by our veterinary technicians. By supporting the effort, we are fully recognizing nursing as a valued profession in veterinary medicine.”

The VNI will continue the movement in 2018 through legislative activities in select states, continue high level discussions with both veterinary and nursing alliances, and adding other sponsors to the executive coalition.