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Research finds ‘veterinary technician’ title used inconsistently in US
NAVTA encourages title protection to give value and help clients better understand a technician's role.
A new report1 by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has revealed that only 10 US states have a clear definition of the title “veterinary technician” and limit using it for individuals holding formal credentials.
“The veterinary technician profession has long been challenged by a lack of cohesion and standards in the United States,” said the NAVTA study, in an American Veterinary Medical Association release.2
“As a result, the title of ‘Veterinary Technician’ is used inconsistently and, oftentimes, incorrectly, and suffers from a lack of clarity and understanding, both within the veterinary world and among consumers.”
The report claims1 that veterinary clinics in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico do not have restrictions on using the title “veterinary technician.” An additional 10 states limit who can use the titles: certified veterinary technician, licensed veterinary technician, licensed veterinary medical technician, or registered veterinary technician. However, these states are lacking the restriction of using the general title “veterinary technician.”
According to the release,2 Ashli R. Selke, CVT, and NAVTA president, noted that NAVTA research demonstrates that title protection and pay are primary concerns of veterinary technicians because most believe improved title protection will result in better pay.
“Protecting the title of ‘veterinary technician’ is the right thing to do from a legal perspective, helps the consumer better understand who they are working with, and gives the title value,” Selke said, in the release.2 “That, in turn, enhances the profession and creates an incentive for individuals to go to school and earn the right to use that title.”
The NAVTA report1 provided suggestions addressing this issue with the veterinary technician title such as those for legislatures and regulatory agencies, academic institutions, veterinary medical and technician associations, veterinary practices, and more.
“We commend our colleagues at NAVTA on this important study,” said Jose Arce, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, in the release.2
“Veterinary technicians—graduates of an AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities® (CVTEA)- or Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)-accredited program—are an integral part of veterinary medicine and care teams. The AVMA encourages schools, organizations, and regulatory authorities to use the appropriate terminology for veterinary technicians, who are integral parts of veterinary medicine and care teams,” he added.
There are currently 216 veterinary technician programs in the nation accredited by the AVMA’s CVTEA, which graduates approximately 5,500 students annually.2
- NAVTA survey and report confirm: Title protection for “veterinary technician” is needed and desired, but absent and misunderstood in most states. National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://d2vjg8vjbfxfu1.cloudfront.net/app/uploads/20220222135054/NAVTA_Title-Protection_Whitepaper_final-1.pdf
- ‘Veterinary Technician’ title used inconsistently across US, new study shows. News release. American Veterinary Medical Association. February 2022. March 23, 2022. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.avma.org/news/press-releases/veterinary-technician-title-used-inconsistently-across-us