Veterinary Technologists are like the nurses of the animal world. They are the right hand man or woman to the Veterinarian during routine check-ups and surgeries. They perform the tasks of prepping for surgeries, animal restraining, and preparing samples for testing. These are relatively easy tasks that are being performed, but in certain situations Veterinary Technologists may have to step up to perform more advanced procedures, especially in rural towns. The question is: Why aren’t Veterinary Technologists able to be certified and licensed to perform these procedures?
The profession of a Veterinary Technologist hasn’t actually been around for a long time. The first Veterinary Technologist positions came about in 1908 in England where women were trained to be veterinary assistants at the Canine Nurses Institute where their official title was as a nurse. Fast forwarding to 1960, the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) put in place three different positions of technicians who were certified by hands-on work at research centers. A major milestone aiding in the set-up of the certification program for technician positions was when the first group of technicians graduated from the State University of New York in 1963. This contribution pushed the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the U.S. Army, Ralston Purina, and the State University of New York to institute programs for training more technicians (Seymour, 2011; Sturtz & Ferry, 2013).
Finally from 1967-1968 and with the push from these organizations, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) decided that there was a need for the technicians and began working to lay out an educational program for training these technicians. They also insisted that the state veterinary medical associations put this training in place because of the need for the technicians. It wasn’t until 1972, that the first technician training programs were finally set up by a vote from the standing committee of the AVMA. By the next year, the AVMA certified two technician programs, one at Michigan State University and one at Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. In 1983, the North American Veterinary Technician Association (NAVTA) was established and became a partner with the AVMA to help promote the position of a veterinary technician. Three years later an exam was set up in Maine to test the knowledge of the technicians and see how effective the newly programs were (Seymour, 2011; Sturtz & Ferry, 2013).
In 1989, the AVMA decided on an official title for the animal technicians which was the title of the veterinary technician. The year of 1994 was a very important year as the third week of October was named the National Veterinary Technician Week to honor the many veterinary technicians and their profession. The AVMA also established a committee in charge of specialties in the line of animal care. Two years later, they establish emergency and critical care...