Veterinary Technician Specialists at OVRS
Veterinary medicine is a fast growing, evidence-based medical field. Veterinary patient care is continually progressing and evolving, often in accordance to the high standards set by the human health care industry. In recent decades, veterinarians can pursue focused training programs to become specialized (board-certified Diplomates) in areas such as surgery, oncology, internal medicine, critical care, behavior, and other areas of veterinary medicine. Not surprisingly, the veterinary technician field has followed suit.
Veterinary technicians enter the field because they are compassionate, hard-working, dedicated individuals. Credentialed veterinary technicians (LVT, CVT, RVT, LVMT) must complete a rigorous 2- or 4-year program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Similar to the human nursing profession, veterinary technicians collaborate with veterinarians in all aspects of veterinary patient care. Unlike nurses, a veterinary technician’s role varies widely, and may encompass performing laboratory tests, taking radiographs (x-rays), performing anesthesia and surgical duties, administering chemotherapy, assisting during advanced diagnostic testing procedures (CT scans, endoscopy) and providing critical care nursing, all in a single day’s work!
Earning a veterinary technician specialty (VTS) certification takes this commitment towards excellence in veterinary care to the next level. Just as our veterinary diplomate counterparts, veterinary technician’s can now focus their training and expertise in one of many niche areas. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties was founded in 1994, and currently recognizes 16 veterinary technician specialty (VTS) disciplines. (See the complete list of NAVTA recognized specialties below.) Each specialty area carries its own set of standards and requirements that must be met in order to earn a specialty designation. Basic requirements for each veterinary technician specialty include:
- Graduation from an accredited veterinary technician program
- Credentialed to practice in their state
- On-the-job experience, exclusive to the area of expertise
- Mastery of skills specific to the area of expertise
- Maintenance of a case log and submitting case reports that demonstrates advanced knowledge and proficiency
- Continuing education specific for chosen field
- Pass a certification examination
Veterinary technicians with a VTS certification are considered experts in their field. At Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, we have several VTS members on staff in disciplines including anesthesia, internal medicine, nutrition, surgery, and emergency and critical care. In fact, some of our VTS staff members are actively involved in their respective academies and contribute to national and international continuing education programs.
While achieving a VTS designation does involve additional time, effort, and commitment, it can be part of a very rewarding professional journey. Other veterinary team members, patients and pet owners alike also benefit from the advanced care, knowledge and expertise a VTS staff member brings into the hospital. As specialty hospitals like OVRS continue to grow, there will be plenty of opportunities for veterinary technicians to advance and develop their careers.
The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians - has a goal of certifying Veterinary Technicians is to assure the veterinary profession and the public that AVECCT certified technicians possess the knowledge and experience needed to work effectively in a well equipped and staffed emergency or critical care facility.
The Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians - gives the technicians the opportunity to expand their knowledge and their professional value by becoming a credentialed specialist in the field of animal dentistry.