If you’re in one of the seven in 10 American homes with a pet or two (or more), according to a National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association — or hope to be someday — here’s some good news for you: Your furry, feathered, finny, scaly friends can get great care from the professionals at the veterinarian’s office.
What to Know About Credentialed Veterinary Nurses and Technicians
It’s not only Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) themselves but credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians too who are vital members of the veterinary practice team. They are highly educated, skilled and licensed professionals performing more medical procedures on animals than many people realize — a survey commissioned by the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and produced by Atomik Research, found 47% of pet owners are unaware that credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians perform medical tasks and procedures and 63% didn’t know veterinary nurses and technicians are the animal care equivalent of Registered Nurses in human healthcare.
The vast majority of credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Most are required to pass a national exam, and are licensed, certified or registered by the state.
Survey findings also revealed that once respondents were informed about the roles and responsibilities of credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians, their specialties including required level of education and expertise, their perceptions changed. Sixty-nine percent of pet owners reported they would feel more confident and comfortable with the level of care they can provide and 84% would trust them as much as a veterinarian.
What They Do
Procedures performed by credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians require extensive skill and knowledge, and include:
• Monitoring and managing anesthesia, cardiovascular and respiratory functions during surgery and throughout recovery.
• Radiology and diagnostic imaging, including advanced studies such as CT, MRI and ultrasonography.
• Dental charting, teeth cleaning, instruction in home care.
• Advanced care for hospitalized patient needs.
• Nutrition and behavior counseling.
• Specialized nursing care in disciplines such as Emergency and Critical Care or Surgery and Ophthalmology to name a few.
To get the best care for your pets it pays to engage, listen and trust the advice from credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians, suggests Harold Davis, Jr., BA, RVT, VTS, (Emergency and Critical Care) (Anesthesia and Analgesia) President, the NAVC Board of Directors.
What You Can Do
Here’s how you can tap the expertise and experience of veterinary nurses and technicians to keep your pets happy and healthy:
1. When you visit the vet, bring your pet’s favorite blanket or toy or a treat.
2. Talk to the veterinary technicians about any old or new concerns.
3. Stay calm. If you’re nervous, your pet may sense it and become nervous too. Fortunately knowing how much you can trust the credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians with your pet can help you both feel more calm.
4. Don’t hesitate to ask the veterinary nurses and techs any questions. They’ll tell you just what you and your pet can expect of each procedure.
5. After you get your animal home, if you have any qualms or questions about aftercare or any problems, feel free to call to ask the veterinary nurse or technician how to handle them.
For further facts about credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians, visit www.navc.com. You can also get information from VCA Animal Hospitals (www.vcahospitals.com) and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA) (www.navta.net).