The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) partnered with goodnewsforpets.com when the site was launched in 2000. We’ve covered several stories about NAVTA since that time. We catch up with Julie Legred, CVT, the organizations’ current director as NAVTA celebrates Veterinary Technician’s Week. For more information about NAVTA visit www.navta.net.
How did you decide to become a veterinary technician?
I have loved animals all of my life. Early on I would take in strays and take care of them. I knew working with animals described what I wanted to do. My counselor in high school knew the difference between a veterinary technician versus a veterinarian and thought it was the right job for me and pointed me in that direction.
What do you like about it?
What have been your roles at NAVTA?
I joined NAVTA as a technician wanting to make a difference in the profession, became a member at large, a two time NAVTA President and now I am the interim Executive Director.
How many veterinary technicians are there in the U.S.?
There are currently about 56,000 veterinary technicians in the U.S.
Do all veterinary technicians work in a pet veterinary clinic?
Not all of them. Some work in teaching hospitals, some work in industry, some work with livestock animals. There are many more opportunities for technicians to be involved in caring for and working for the benefit of animals.
NAVTA compares veterinary technicians to human nurses. Nurses treat humans. How are they the same?
Veterinary technicians are similar to nurses in that they both have nursing skills, but veterinary technicians perform many other tasks. We are radiologists, lab technicians, surgery technicians, radiology technicians, educators, etc.
How does a veterinary technician become certified?
Not all veterinary technicians are certified. Certified veterinary technicians are primarily graduates of an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited veterinary technology programs, then take the VTNE and pass. After that, they need to fulfill their credentialing with their VMA or state organization, pay their fees, register and abide by the rules.
What is a veterinary technician specialty?
Veterinary Technician Specialists (VTS) are veterinary technicians that go beyond initial credentialing and seek out a specialty area. They study about three additional years in a special area they are working in, master an advanced skills list and pass a final exam. Emergency and Critical Care was the first specialty but there are many more now and special guidelines to become certified in a specialty.
Can only certified veterinary technicians join NAVTA?
NAVTA welcomes anyone in the veterinary industry to join and support NAVTA including veterinary assistants, credentialed veterinary technicians, veterinarians, educators, students and anyone interested in supporting the veterinary technician profession by visiting www.navta.net.