Is the Role of the Veterinary Technician Changing in Practice?

December 22, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

David Liss, RVT, VTS, CVPM, program director at Platt College, discusses the changing role of the veterinary technician.

David Liss, RVT, VTS, CVPM, program director at Platt College, discusses the changing role of the veterinary technician.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“I think that when we think about change, I’m sure you have people that may be watching saying, “It’s not changing for me.” I would certainly agree with them that it may not be changing for them, but when we talk about change, we really look at the bigger picture on a larger scale. I think that if you talk to veterinary technicians who have been in the field 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, they will say it has changed. Pay has gotten better across the board. Not maybe, again, for an individual person, but across the board. States are increasing scopes of practice. Some aren’t, but some are. Organizations [such as] the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America are growing. State veterinary technician organizations are growing. Magazines such as American Veterinarian are interviewing veterinary technicians. That was never heard of 15 or 20 years ago—it was all veterinarians all the time and we were struggling to have people who were our voice to speak out.

Those little steps are really giant steps in the evolution of a career that has really only been around about 40-45 years, vs [comparatively] human nursing which is going on 100-and something years. We’ve come leaps and bounds, we are growing exponentially, from where we started as veterinary technicians, not just farm hens and assistants and it’s only been 40-45 years. Imagine what we will do in the next 45 years.”