AAHA recognizes that optimal utilization of trained and educated credentialed veterinary technicians brings myriad benefits to veterinary teams and to the veterinary industry as a whole. Empowering credentialed veterinary technicians to perform the wide range of veterinary medical tasks that fall under their scope of practice not only benefits practices financially but also encourages retention of individuals with valuable skill sets and experience within the profession. Optimal utilization increases job and career satisfaction and contributes to an environment of mutual trust and collaboration. Patients and clients benefit when credentialed veterinary technicians are able to take on more expansive roles equal to their education and training.
Although the need for optimal utilization of credentialed veterinary technicians has been discussed at length within the veterinary profession, little progress has been made in the form of tangible and enduring change. Veterinary medicine is currently facing a crisis of staff shortages, low attraction and retention of skilled professionals, professional burnout, mental health challenges, and lack of patient access to care. To address the significant challenges veterinary practices now face, it is crucial that veterinary professionals, and in particular veterinarians, embrace the benefits of optimal veterinary technician utilization.
These guidelines provide actionable steps that veterinary practices can take right now to initiate positive change. The guidelines include practical tools to implement and evaluate credentialed technician utilization in individual practices such as:
- Goal worksheets
- Workflows by role for everyday clinical examples
- Veterinary team member utilization assessment tools
- Examples of veterinary technician levels and skills for professional growth and increased learning potential
- Case studies
- Lists of open-ended questions to structure conversations on the issues, feelings, and realities of improving utilization
Together, the action steps, tools, and resources in these guidelines provide veterinary practices with strategies for improving utilization, job satisfaction, and retention of these valuable and skilled veterinary professionals.