Vet techs mean the world to us in more ways than we can count
Veterinarians would be lost, no, we would be nothing, without veterinary technicians." — Julie Cappel, DVM, Dr.AndyRoark.com1
It would be impossible to imagine a thriving veterinary industry without the tireless work of the nearly 110,000 vet techs currently employed in the United States.2 Since 1989, when the AVMA officially adopted the term "veterinary technician," it has become one of the fastest-growing professions in veterinary medicine.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is projected to grow 20% from 2021 to 2031, "much faster than the average for all occupations."3
And, while you work alongside vet techs every day, Veterinary Technician Week is a great time to recall just how much they do.
Heck yes, we need 'em!
Basically, vet techs juggle a myriad of challenges (sometimes all at once!)—assisting with patient care, helping clients, and chasing details that literally keep veterinary practices running.
While veterinary technician license or certification requirements vary by state, the sheer range of assistance technicians provide is daunting. Veterinarians count on them to help collect and maintain medical histories, collect samples, run diagnostic tests, and place IV catheters—just to list a few of their technical skills. Clients turn to them for help in understanding treatment plans, prescriptions, costs, and payment options.
As if that wasn't enough, vet techs need to be able to handle a combination of physical, intellectual, and emotional demands—and yet, so many do it with compassion and good humor.
We absolutely, pawsitively love 'em!
From social media posts to articles in industry publications, common insights about veterinary technicians rise to the surface. They love animals and want to help them. They love their jobs, but burnout and low pay are real issues. They love to know they're appreciated and respected—and that includes getting to use their clinical skills to the full capacity of their training, or a chance to specialize in an area of interest.
When introducing AAHA's 2022 Veterinary Technician of the Year, Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS (Anesthesia and Analgesia), summed it up, "As a tech for more than 17 years, I can tell you being a part of a team that values technician input has been the secret to my career longevity."4
What's no secret is how much they're loved in return.
You better believe we appreciate 'em!
This year marks the 30th National Veterinary Technician Week, established by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians (NAVTA) in America in June 1993. It's become an annual tradition every third week of October to raise public awareness of the vet tech profession.
For now, Vet Tech Week is primarily celebrated in the United States, but rumors suggest it may become a global event one day. Good idea, because nobody keeps the world of pet care turning like vet techs.
And we just can't thank these extraordinary professionals enough for all they do!
- "Why We Love, Love, Love Our Veterinary Technicians," Julie Cappel, DVM, “The Veterinary Life.”
- Veterinary Technician Demographics and Statistics in the US.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Technologists and Technicians. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm
- "Leading By Example: AAHA's 2022 Veterinary Technician of the Year," NEWStat, Originally published 11/04/2022.
Disclaimer: The views expressed, and topics discussed, in any NEWStat column or article are intended to inform, educate, or entertain, and do not represent an official position by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) or its Board of Directors.