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Elevating Veterinary Technicians through Better Utilization

Members of our profession thrive in workplace environments where we have a voice in the decisionmaking and are trusted to play the role we entered the field to play. Such an environment seems unfortunately difficult to come by. In a reimagined world of veterinary nursing, care is practiced at the highest level by individuals walking a path of a lifelong career with good financial, mental, and physical health, while nursing care team members are empowered to guide their own practice. The ability for veterinary technicians to utilize their skillsets to their fullest potential contributes to better health for the entirety of veterinary medicine, including patients, team members, and the practice itself. What are today’s issues and how do we get there? Let’s discuss.


  • Gain insight on how well your practice is utilizing veterinary technicians
  • Recognize the areas and levels in which well-trained veterinary technicians can be utilized
  • Describe the negative effects of underutilization and the positive effects of appropriate utilization in veterinary practices
  • Identify action items to implement better utilization in veterinary practice. 


reliable-rhino-icon.png What do these icons mean? Take our quiz to find out what animal you are and what courses suit you best! 

Kenichiro Yagi, BS, RVT, VTS (ECC), VTS (SAIM)

ken yagi

During his 20 years in the field, Kenichiro Yagi has discovered and refined his role as a veterinary technician by promoting compassionate and progressive care for patients and their families. He advocates for the open hospital concept, inviting pet owners to “the back” as part of the team, and urges our industry to ask “why?” to understand the “what” and “how” as we continually pursue new limits as veterinary professionals and individuals.

Ken is currently chief veterinary nursing officer for Veterinary Emergency Group, and program director for the RECOVER Initiative. He was NAVTA Veterinary Technician of the Year (2016), California Veterinary Medical Association Veterinary Technician of the Year (2016), and received the California RVT Association of the Year award (2017). He co-edited the Manual of Veterinary Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking and presents internationally on topics in ECC, transfusion medicine, and veterinary nursing. Ken co-chairs the Veterinary Nurse Initiative, and is a board member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses, and the Veterinary Innovation Council.


Rebecca Rose, CVT

rebecca rose

Rebecca Rose, CVT, cares about and understands veterinary teams. She graduated from Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in 1987 with a degree in veterinary technology. She is president and founder of CATALYST Veterinary Professional Coaches, LLC.  

Rebecca’s diverse career makes her an expert in team development and creating an enjoyable work environment. She’s been a veterinary technician at a mixed-animal practice, managed two AAHA-accredited practices, and was the first paid administrator to the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians (CACVT).  

She has industry council experience and has done extensive association work, including serving as president of the CACVT and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). She facilitates interactive workshops at local, state, and national Veterinary Medical Associations, and she created and delivered Speaker Communication & Training Programs along with AVMA leaders. She’s been published by AAHA as well as in veterinary medical publications, Veterinary Practice News, and a peppering of blogs with colleagues.   

Above all, Rebecca finds great joy in assisting veterinary teams as they reach their highest potential to thrive.  

Kara Burns, MS, M.Ed, LVT, VTS (Nutrition), VTS-H (Internal Medicine, Dentistry)

kara burns

Kara Burns is a licensed veterinary technician with a master’s degree in physiology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She began her career in human medicine working as an emergency psychologist. She made the move to veterinary medicine and worked in small animal private practice and a small animal and avian practice in Maine. 

Kara is the Founder and President of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians, the tenth recognized specialty for veterinary technicians and has attained her VTS (Nutrition). She teaches nutrition courses around the world on digital platforms and in person. She also is a consultant for the Lafeber Company/Emeraid and is Director of Veterinary Nursing for NAVC Publishing and is editor in chief of Today’s Veterinary NurseKara also works as an independent nutritional consultant.

Kara is a member of many national, international, and state associations and holds positions on numerous boards; AAVN executive board technician liaison; Western Veterinary Conference Technician Education Manager; PrideVMC board Treasurer; Society of Veterinary Medical Ethics Board; and the Pet Nutrition Alliance executive board, just to name a few.

She has authored many articles, textbooks, and textbook chapters and is an internationally invited speaker focusing on topics of nutrition, leadership, and technician utilization.