Shine a Spotlight on Veterinary Technicians – An Update from the AVMA

  |   Practice Management

National Veterinary Technician Week is just around the corner (October 13-19) and it provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the important work done by veterinary technicians. One of the areas identified by the AVMA House of Delegates during recent meetings was the need for greater recognition of veterinary technicians. Well-utilized veterinary technicians have a positive impact on patient care, client service, quality of medicine, and quality of life for the veterinary health care team.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) serves as the membership organization for veterinary technicians. Just as the AVMA works to benefit veterinary technicians, we also collaborate with NAVTA to ensure that the organization’s needs are met. We ask you to help strengthen NAVTA by encouraging your veterinary technicians to become active and engaged members of NAVTA.

Based on discussion during the Veterinary Information Forum at the January session of the AVMA House of Delegates, the AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Technician Utilization was formed. It was clear during discussion that the value of veterinary technicians is unquestioned, and that efforts need to be made across the profession to increase technician use and boost job satisfaction.

The task force is now underway and is charged with developing a comprehensive plan to improve technician utilization by examining issues that impact technicians, teams, and practices. These include financial and career sustainability, task delegation, and the wellbeing of both technicians and the practices in which they work.

This is a high priority issue for both the AVMA and WSVMA. Working in partnership with NAVTA, we need to examine how we can transform the utilization of veterinary technicians, which can have a positive impact on wellbeing, practice profitability, and the shortage of veterinarians in rural areas. Likewise, we all share a common desire to ensure that these critically important members of the veterinary healthcare team are fully leveraged so they can truly shine in their work and turnover can be reduced.  Stay tuned for exciting updates on the work of the Task Force in the coming months.

There are two upcoming AVMA events that will incorporate our veterinary technicians in attendance, content, and discussion.

The Annual AVMA Economic Summit in October will focus on many important economic topics, including new information related to the importance of veterinary technicians to the healthcare team and practice profitability. Related to this topic, and in case you haven’t seen it, we encourage you to read this insightful DVM 360 article written by our director of veterinary economics, Dr. Matt Salois. It highlights how proper technician utilization can boost practice efficiency and team morale, reduce turnover and free up more of our veterinarians’ time for work that only they can do.

The 2019 AVMA Veterinary Wellbeing Summit in November, will bring together veterinary practitioners and team members – including veterinary technicians – students, educators, and mental health professionals. They will focus on what actions we are taking or can begin to take to foster inclusive academic and work environments that promote individual, team, practice, and organizational wellbeing. We know appropriate utilization of vet technicians is key for the health and wellbeing of veterinarians.

We’re delighted to have the expertise and important contributions from two veterinary technicians who are part of our program. Rebecca Rose, a CVT, will be co-presenting a program titled, “It’s Better than OK to be Imperfect: Let’s Talk Trust and Vulnerability.” Garnetta Santiago, an LVT and Manager of Academic and Professional Affairs for Zoetis, will present “Did She Really Just Say That? The Impact of Unconscious Communication Patterns on Wellbeing in the Veterinary Profession.”

By Dr. Diana Thomé, AVMA Alternate Delegate and Dr. Sandy Willis, AVMA Delegate


Posted October 11, 2019