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Posted on 06-19-2017

Do you have questions about the National Association of Veterinary Technician's in America's (NAVTA) push for standardization? The initiative, designed to create a national credentialing process and change the title of the position, will offer several important benefits for veterinary technicians.

Why Was the Change Proposed?

Currently, states set their own credentialing standards. In some areas of the country, you may need to graduate from an accredited veterinary technology program before you can find a job, while in others, vet techs can learn on the job and then take an examination. Some states offer no credentialing requirements at all. According to NAVTA, changing the title of the job to Registered Veterinary Nurse and requiring the same credentialing process in all 50 states will help the profession "make strides toward better recognition, mobility and elevated practice standards, leading to better patient care and consumer protection."

No More Long Explanations

Are you tired of explaining exactly what a vet tech does? People instantly understand the terms "doctor," "nurse" or "teacher," but "veterinary technician" can be a little confusing. Some people may think that you're in charge of X-rays or blood work or other technical areas when your job actually involves much more than performing these tasks. Changing the title to Registered Veterinary Nurse makes your duties much clearer to clients.

Easier Job Searches

Finding work in a different state can be tough when you're a veterinary technician. The title on your resume may not match the titles used in the job listings, and you may not have the education or skills required for a similar position in your new state. When everyone has the same title and credentials and standards, finding another job, even if you move 2,000 miles away, will be easier.

Improved Patient Care

Standardizing educational and examination requirements help ensure that all veterinary nurses are capable of providing the same high level of care. Veterinary technicians who only receive on-the-job training undoubtedly gain impressive knowledge about veterinary medicine, but they may find some aspects of the job challenging without proper preparation. Ensuring that everyone who works under the title "Registered Veterinary Nurse" has completed an accredited educational program and met national credentialing standards will improve quality of care for patients.

More Opportunities

The changes proposed by NAVTA could also create more advancement opportunities. Nurses who work in human medicine don't just provide bedside care, but may serve as nurse practitioners, educators or anesthetists. If the change is enacted, new career paths may open up for veterinary technicians too.

When Are the Changes Expected to Take Place?

At this point, members of the NAVTA's Veterinary Nurse Coalition are still working on legislative strategy. In 2018, they plan to ask state lawmakers to pass amendments to establish the credential of Registered Veterinary Nurse.

Although the details of the plan must still be finalized, establishing a national credentialing process and adopting a new title for veterinary technicians could enhance the reputation of the profession and lead to better career opportunities.

Sources:

DVM360: Tech vs. Nurse: The National Credential Initiative Cheat Sheet, 10/14/16

http://veterinaryteam.dvm360.com/tech-vs-nurse-national-credential-initiative-cheat-sheet

NAVTA: NAVTA Moves Forward with Veterinary Nurse Credential Change Veterinary Nurse

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.navta.net/resource/resmgr/vn_initiative/NAVTA_Veterinary_Nurse_Board.pdf

NAVTA: Veterinary Nurse FAQS

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.navta.net/resource/resmgr/vn_initiative/NAVTA_Veterinary_Nurse_FAQ_-.pdf

AVMA: Technicians Pushing for New Name: Veterinary Nurse

https://www.avma.org/news/javmanews/pages/160415l.aspx

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