When you make a visit to your doctor, an entire team of medical professionals work together to provide you with optimal care. A visit to your pet’s veterinarian is no different. The key member of the veterinary healthcare team we are celebrating this week is the licensed veterinary technician, sometimes called registered veterinary technician, licensed veterinary medical technician or certified veterinary technician.
October 10-16, 2010 is National Veterinary Technician Week and celebrates the hands-on contributions these professionals make to animal health. These highly trained team members specialize in being the veterinarian’s right hand and have duties similar to nurses in human medicine. Most of you are familiar with veterinary technicians who draw blood from your pet or help you to administer medications. But, there is more to this profession than pet owners typically see. You won’t usually see them taking x-rays, giving chemotherapy or preparing a patient for anesthesia and assisting in surgery, but veterinary technicians are essential team members throughout the veterinary hospital.
Veterinary technicians are not limited to working in small animal clinics. They help provide medical care to livestock, laboratory animals, wildlife and zoo animals. Their broad training teaches them skills useful in laboratories, medical supply companies or the pet food manufacturing industry. Many are promoted to veterinary practice manager while others pursue additional training in rehabilitation medicine.
Most veterinary technicians have a two-year associate degree, although some veterinary technician programs lead to a baccalaureate degree. Once they have earned a degree, veterinary technicians must pass a licensing examination administered by the state. Each state’s requirements for licensing are different. The job prospects for licensed veterinary technicians are excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth of 36% is expected between 2008-2018 for veterinary technician positions. This is higher than the expected growth for all occupations overall.
A recent innovation in the veterinary technician world is specialization. Now, technicians can be acknowledged as experts in their field. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) recognizes eight academies, or areas of specialization, such as internal medicine, anesthesia, and emergency and critical care. To become certified, technician specialists must complete a formal process of education, training, experience and testing. The Animal Medical Center currently has five technician specialists and more enrolled in the training process.
During National Veterinary Technician Week, The AMC would like to recognize our nealry 80 technicians and thank them for their commitment to their profession.
For nearly a century, The Animal Medical Center has been a national leader in animal health care, known for its expertise, innovation and success in providing routine, specialty and emergency medical care for companion animals. Thanks in part to the enduring generosity of donors, The AMC is also known for its outstanding teaching, research and compassionate community funds. Please help us to continue these efforts. Send your contribution to: The Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. For more information, visit www.amcny.org. To make an appointment, please call 212.838.7053.