National Veterinary Technician Week to recognize technicians as trusted partners in lifelong care

During the week of Oct. 13-19, veterinary technicians will take their place in the spotlight as the veterinary profession celebrates the 21st annual National Veterinary Technician Week (NVTW). 

Julie Legred, CVT, interim executive director of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), discussed the importance of the week-long event that includes sponsorship from NAVTA, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Partners for Healthy Pets, and the Ontario (Canada) Association of Veterinary Technicians.

"National Veterinary Technician Week is a time for all to celebrate what veterinary technicians do, what they have accomplished over the year, and the passion and dedication they express and practice every day to pets, clients, and the veterinary profession as a whole," Legred said.

For this year's NVTW theme, veterinary technicians are being recognized as "Your Trusted Partner in Lifelong Care." Legred explained why NAVTA and other NVTW sponsors selected that theme for 2013.

"NAVTA is a proud participant of the Partners for Healthy Pets initiative. We feel this is a very important initiative for pets, people, and all of veterinary medicine. To ensure that this initiative is truly moved forward, the entire veterinary health care team needs to be involved," she said. "Veterinary technicians play a huge part in preventive medicine and take pride in communicating the importance of this to clients, as well as educating clients on each piece of preventive medicine and ensuring they help them with their pets' care in every way they can."

During the week-long celebration, NAVTA encourages animal hospitals to have fun with NVTW and add their own touches to it. Some practices "really go all out," said Legred, who mentioned some hospitals that plan different rewards for veterinary technicians throughout the week, such as a spa day on Sunday, lunch on Monday, and gift cards on Tuesday.

Other practices have held community events to raise awareness of what veterinary technicians do, or given technicians in large practices thank-you cards from the CEO to appreciate them for their efforts.

"Celebrating in a way they see fit allows the practice to focus on their technicians," Legred said. "Having fun also encourages more to participate."

Clark K. Fobian, DVM, AVMA president, shared his thoughts in a recent news release about why he thinks veterinary technicians deserve so much attention and accolades during National Veterinary Technician Week.

"Veterinary technicians are often the first person a client will talk to when their pet has a problem. They help translate complex medical terms, and facilitate communications between the veterinary practice and the client," Fobian said. "They are crucial partners in delivering the best possible care to animals. As a veterinarian, I'm very grateful for all they do, not only at my practice, but in veterinary clinics across the country."