Surgical veterinary technician specialty announced


NAVTA reports that the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians has been established.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has announced a new specialty, the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians (AVST). The AVST will create a standardized route through which technicians may qualify for a national examination to become a veterinary technician specialist-or VTS (Surgery).

A 2009 survey of veterinary professionals indicated the need for technicians with advanced knowledge in many areas related to surgery. “As veterinary knowledge and skills have expanded, so has the need for trained technical support,” said Teri Raffel, AVST secretary.

Veterinary technicians play an integral role in the care of perioperative veterinary patients, said Heidi Reuss-Lamky, AVST president. “Veterinary technicians must not only understand sophisticated soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures, but also must possess advanced knowledge in areas such as anatomy and physiology, equipment and instrument care and maintenance, principles of asepsis, wound management, and diagnostic imaging techniques," she said. "Furthermore, surgical patients often require postoperative support such as coaptation or rehabilitation. A highly skilled technical staff assures that perioperative surgical patients receive a level of care commensurate to the surgical procedure performed.”

The AVST encourages experienced surgical technicians to enhance their education and training by pursuing a surgical specialty. Veterinary technicians interested in learning the specific criteria involved in pursuing a surgical technician specialty should contact Raffel or Reuss-Lamky.

For information about other technician specialties, visit

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