BATTLE GROUND, Ind. ” (May 30, 2006) ” The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. NAVTA was created in 1981 by a group of dedicated veterinary technicians to raise awareness about their role in the profession. Through its commitment to education, communication and strategic relationships with key veterinary associations, NAVTA is recognized as the official, national organization of the profession.
“Among its successes, NAVTA has changed the professional nomenclature, so that it appropriately reflects the skill sets of veterinary technicians; attained positions of influence on national committees, councils and task forces; established a quality journal; and expanded services provided by veterinary technicians through the development of technician specialties in critical care, anesthesia and dentistry,” says Janet D. Donlin, DVM, Assistant Executive Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Through its work with the AVMA, NAVTA has showcased how the increased utilization of veterinary technicians can benefit each individual technician, as well as the veterinary practice. Due to these efforts, NAVTA has seen growth in the ratio of technicians to veterinarians. In the past, there was one technician for four veterinarians. Currently, there are three technicians for each veterinarian.
A mark of the organization’s professional achievement has been the launch of The NAVTA Journal, created in December 2002. The NAVTA Journal, which acts as an outlet for the organization, as well as its members, offers continuing education articles and cutting edge information. “The NAVTA Journal has been a visible sign of our growth and position in the profession. It has also increased awareness about our organization,” says Patrick Navarre, BS, RVT, Executive Director of NAVTA.
NAVTA outreaches to the public in a variety of ways. For the last 13 years, NAVTA has celebrated National Veterinary Technician Week in October to educate others about the important role veterinary technicians play in the care of animals. The organization reaches out in the media through its presence on www.goodnewsforpets.com and wire service articles. They have also been a part of National Pet Week in May, since last year.
Additionally, NAVTA has established a presence online through its site, www.navta.net. Recently redesigned, the site includes survey data, information about the organization and upcoming events. It also serves as an educational component offering an online career center, credential information and links to continuing education programs.
Following Hurricane Katrina, NAVTA donated $10,000 to the Louisiana State University Hurricane Relief fund and inserted a flier into the fall issue of The NAVTA Journal outlining groups needing support. They also used their state representative network to communicate electronically about supplies needed. “With the network, we were able to send the items that were most needed,” says Navarre. “It allowed us to effectively communicate with our state representatives and draw help from our members.”
Janet D. Donlin, DVM says, “Over the past 25 years, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America has grown from a fledgling organization into one of the most respected veterinary technician associations in the world. NAVTA members can be tremendously proud of their Association’s history and accomplishments.”
In the next five years, NAVTA plans to continue its prominent role in the profession and seek recognition from other entities. One new endeavor they are working on is with the United States Department of Agriculture to develop a database of veterinary technicians that would be called on for bio-terrorism. Navarre says, “Our primary concern will always be to continue to promote the utilization of veterinary technicians in the profession.”