Veterinary Technicians Soon To Be Veterinary Nurses

By Ashley VanMeter, RVT

Recognition and appreciation of veterinary technicians across the nation has been an ongoing battle for many years. The veterinary industry is getting ready to adopt a new name. According to NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians) on May 15th the formation of the Veterinary Nurse Initiative Coalition is pursuing legislative changes in all 50 states to establish RVN (registered veterinary nurse) as the official name.

The nationwide change is an effort to raise awareness for better recognition, higher standards, and better patient care. Currently 15 states recognize RVT, 19 CVT, 14 LVT, with LVMT being only recognized in Tennessee, and Utah has no veterinary technician accreditation. The change would unify the title RVN across all 50 states. The change would not affect current accredited veterinary technicians

The current standard for RVT, LVT, and CVT is attending a 2 year AVMA accredited program followed by the VTNE and then a state test according to the state in which you plan to practice in. Credentials for VTS (veterinary technician specialist) will be considered at a later date according to NAVTA.

The veterinary field currently suffers from a large shortage of veterinary technicians. According to the latest statistics, for every 1 technician there are 5-8 jobs available. Underutilization, wages, compassion fatigue, and toxic work environments were rated the top reasons why technicians leave the veterinary field. The average work-life of a vet tech is 10 years. NAVTA hopes by recognizing technicians as nurses that they may be better utilized and recognized for their important contribution to veterinary medicine. NAVTA hopes to start the name change at the beginning year of 2018.

Ashley VanMeter received her RVT in 2008 from Stanford Brown, followed by a Business Management degree from Jefferson College in 2011. She is presently a Technical/Nursing Supervisor in the large animal section in the Veterinary Health Center in the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine.

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