Veterinary technicians are a critical part of every veterinary practice. While we should celebrate our technicians every month, consider making this month extra special for them!

Celebrating Technicians

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The winner of this year’s Techs@Work photo contest is a photo of Nicholas Lynum, (left) of Plymouth Veterinary Hospital in Plymouth, Michigan, taking the heart rate of an adorable patient, Maui. Lynum, who is working toward his LVT credentials, wins an exclusive AAHA swag bag for his practice, and bragging rights for the entire year! A close second was the photo on page 29 of Jessica Maylen, CVT, taking blood pressure on a patient. Maylen’s practice will also receive a special prize. Congratulations to all!

A Crucial Part of the Practice Team

by Adam Hechko, DVM

Adam Hechko, DVM

Veterinary technicians are a critical part of every veterinary practice. While we should celebrate our technicians every month, consider making this month extra special for them!

As we continue to have high demand for credentialed technicians and applications for open positions remain low, have you considered how to better utilize the technicians that currently work in your office? When we allow technicians to fully apply their skills, we can increase patient care, improve the client experience, and allow doctors to spend more time with patients. Taking a step back to analyze how these incredible team members in our profession operate in your practice can lead to some opportunities to celebrate their skills, reduce burden on doctors, improve job satisfaction, and drive exceptional patient care.

The high demand for credentialed technicians in our practices is compounded by the number that are leaving our profession after only a short time. According to reports, there are many reasons for technicians leaving the veterinary profession. These reasons include lack of respect from the public and veterinary professionals, frustration from lack of utilization of their skills, burnout, and compassion fatigue. As a profession, I think we can do much better for our teams and technicians to help prevent their hard work and education from being undervalued.

The team at AAHA and board of directors continue to work on living up to our mission of simplifying the journey toward excellence for veterinary practices by developing solutions to support the challenges we face daily. The topic and impact of veterinary technician utilization has become so important to our profession that AAHA will be developing the first guidelines on veterinary technician utilization. The task force will start working on this topic this fall.

We have learned how creativity and looking through a different lens has created new opportunities on how we deliver care to pets. This same approach can lead to increased use of the knowledge and technical skills of credentialed technicians. Restructuring support for credentialed veterinary technicians with workflow changes, the utilization of assistants, support through employee assistance programs, and opportunities for personal and profession growth can have significant impacts on our practices. These changes can greatly improve job satisfaction and efficiency throughout the hospital by allowing technicians to fully utilize the skills they possess. As a result, more patients can be helped by our teams. As veterinarians, we can use the additional time to focus on diagnosing a pet and bonding with the clients.

Please consider what opportunities our patients and profession are missing when we do not fully utilize the skills of credentialed veterinary technicians. The next time a patient enters the hospital, consider what can be delegated to your team. When patient outcomes are successful, remember that your team was instrumental in that success. When clients praise the care their pet received, take a moment to let them know that it was possible because of the skilled, credentialed professionals in your office.

As we celebrate veterinary technicians in the issue, I can’t say thank you enough for their hard work and dedication to each pet and family they help in our practices. I would not be able to operate my hospital without the help of these talented individuals. Thank you for all you do each and every day.


Brenda Hinderliter, CVT, providing positive distraction to a patient while Russell Brewer, DVM, conducts an exam at Care Animal Hospital of Pleasant Prairie in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Photo by William Vargas, Marketing Manager.


Corrine Mayo, LVT, is holding Fefe for her acupuncture treatment at Ralston Vet in Ralston, Nebraska. Photo by Kasia Lloyd.


Bree McMillan, LVT, performs a dental prophylaxis at Ralston Vet in Ralston, Nebraska. Photo by Kasia Lloyd.


Kathrine Coronado, LVT, VTS (Ophthalmology) measures the intraocular pressure of a black vulture while Emily Silva, LVT restrains the patient at Eye Care for Animals. Photo courtesy of Kathrine Coronado


Barbara L. Schick, CVT, RVT, LVT, performs an ear flush on a patient under anesthesia at Fur Kids Allergy & Dermatology. in Pensacola, Florida Photo courtesy of Fur Kids Allergy & Dermatology


Imeldo Laurel, LVT, VTS (Dentistry), performs a dental procedure at Dog and Cat Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. Photo by Peter Gerlach.


Veterinary Assistant Kristina Carter expresses “Ruthie’s” anal glands while veterinary assistant Allynne Montilla keeps her happy and distracted with peanut butter and Julie Pattaphongse, RVT, uses gentle restraint at Animal Care Clinic in San Luis Obispo, California. Photo by Natalie Borgardt.


Alyson Evans RVT, CVT, Elite FFCP, CVBL (right), Debbie Vanucci, CVT, Elite FFCP (left), and RJ, CVA, FFCP, conduct a Fear Free blood draw on a puppy at Briargate Boulevard Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Photo by Dawn Brizendine, DVM.


Mary Ouzts, LVT, bottle feeding a baby goat at Madison Animal Care Hospital in Madison, Alabama. Photo by Page Magee.


Veterinary assistants Kryss Jones (background) and Lauren Woodmansee comfort patients at Roanoke Animal Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. We do a lot of sitting on the floor with our patients. Whatever it takes to help them feel more safe and secure! Photo by Liz Bird.


Jessie Rayburn, CVT (head technician), giving oxygen to a basset puppy (“Puddles”) suffering from pneumonia—he was exhausted from
trying so hard to breathe at Pine Creek Animal Hospital in Gap, Pennsylvania. Photo by Lois Lantz.


Haileigh Lewis, veterinary assistant (blue scrubs), and Eryn Tison, CVT (brown scrubs), work with a dog at 1st Pet Veterinary Centers in Arizona. The technicians were prepping for the doctor to use the endoscope to remove a piece of rawhide the dog had choked on. The procedure was successful and the dog is doing great. Photo by Debe Jorgensen/1st Pet Veterinary Centers.


Andrea Bobe, LVT, placing an NG tube on a feline patient at Veterinary Emergency Group-Upper East Side in New York City. Photo by Amanda Gerard, LVT, Veterinary nursing development coordinator.



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