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By an allied health world contributing writer
Published: January, 27 2010
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Imagine combining all of the specialties within the allied health field and rolling those into one career. This would include professions like a nurse anesthetist, pharmacy technician, dental hygienist, x-ray technologist, medical lab tech, surgical assistant, ward nurse, and floor nurse. It may at first seem that combining these very different healthcare professions into one person’s job would be overwhelming and perhaps even impossible. However, that is the case with the job of a veterinary technician. These health care professionals are responsible for all of these very different fields but rather than practicing on humans, they practice on animals. A veterinary technician is the backbone of a hospital / clinic.
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Veterinary Technician History
The field of veterinary technology is an infantile profession since it didn’t get its start until the late 60s or early 70s. Veterinarians realized they needed help in their clinics so decided to start a formal training program for vet techs. The following includes significant events that took place in this field over the course of time.
What is within the scope of a vet tech?
A vet tech’s scope is wide and the list of tasks they are not able to perform is much shorter than the list of areas that are within his/her realm of practice. Vet techs are not able to diagnose, prognose, prescribe medicine, or perform surgery. Other rules and regulations that limit what a veterinary technician can and cannot do may be further addressed by the individual states. For example, in some states they are not allowed to administer certain vaccines but in other states this is within the scope of practice.
- The North American Veterinary Technician Association (NAVTA) was formed.
- In 1989 NAVTA began working with Hills’ Pet Nutrition as its first Corporate Sponsor.
- Two NAVTA representatives were appointed to the Animal Technician Testing Committee of the AVMA to assist in the validation of the national credentialing examination.
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- In 1990, NAVTA adopted its official mission statement and began a strategic planning process.
- National Veterinary Technician Week was declared in 1993 - celebrated first in October 16-22, 1994.
- The Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS) was formed in 1994 to oversee the development of veterinary technician specialties.
- A program was developed in 1995, to award scholarships to students in AVMA accredited education programs. The program started by offering four scholarships per year and has increased to eight.
- The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians was recognized in 1996 by CVTS as the first technician specialty.
- The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists was recognized by CVTS in 1998.
- NAVTA, in 1997, was named Co-sponsor of National Pet Week.
- NAVTA has seen a 500% increase in membership in the 90' s!
- 2000 Hosted the International Veterinary Nurses and Technicians Association at the Western Veterinary Conference's 35 Anniversary for sponsoring veterinary technician continuing education.
- NAVTA recognizes the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians, the Academy of Behavior Technicians and the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians.
- The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians is granted Full Recognition. NAVTA moves its headquarters to just outside of Washington DC.
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