“By helping veterinary assistants and technicians reach their full potential, we will improve the performance of the veterinary health team and the health of animals everywhere.” – Gene O’Neill, CEO, NAVC

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A major new program that NAVC is launching as part of the initiative is a national consumer awareness and education campaign for veterinary nurses/technicians sponsored by VCA Animal Hospitals with support from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). The campaign will create greater consumer awareness and understanding of the important role and educational requirements of animal handlers/technicians, with the goal of changing perceptions and attitudes among pet owners so that they feel more confident and accepting of having a qualified, certified animal handler/technician. -Having technicians take care of their loved ones.

“Vet techs play an important role in veterinary medicine and are essential members of the veterinary practice team. They are not just helpers and assistants. They are phlebotomists, anesthesiologists, sonographers, surgical technicians, dental hygienists and more who are highly skilled and qualified. Yet NAVC’s own research shows they use less than a third of the skills they were trained to perform,” he said Gene O’Neill, CEO of NAVC. “By strengthening this critical position and helping veterinary assistants and technicians reach their full potential, we will help improve the performance of our veterinary health teams and the health of animals everywhere.”

The goals of the Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative are to improve access to care, improve patient outcomes and customer satisfaction, improve the overall well-being of the veterinary nurse/technician, and encourage more people to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

New resources, tools, and forums
The new programs offer a wide range of resources and support for veterinary nurses/qualified technicians, including career development and growth, continuous learning scholarships, and new intensive hands-on courses specifically designed for nurses/technicians at the NAVC Institute to advance their expertise to expand and a new webinar series bringing together industry leaders to address key issues facing the veterinary assistant/qualified technician profession. Today’s Veterinary Nurse is launching the Clinical Champions series to recognize the positive influence of veterinary nurses/techs and a mentoring program that will help the next generation of veterinary nurses/techs succeed.

National consumer education and awareness campaign
In early 2022, NAVC will partner with VCA and NAVTA to launch a year-long nationwide consumer awareness and education campaign to underscore the critical role of veterinary assistants. The campaign focuses on the extensive training that veterinary assistants and certified technicians undergo and the highly skilled procedures they perform, including 16 specialty certifications such as emergency and critical care, anesthesia and analgesia, surgery, ophthalmology and others. The campaign will address the issues identified in a national survey conducted by Atomik Research on behalf of the NAVC, which found that many pet owners do not know or understand the role and training requirements of veterinary assistants/techs.

“As one of the largest hometown animal hospital networks, VCA is focused on providing world-class medicine and creating the future of veterinary medicine. Providing this future is only possible with the expert support of intelligent, purpose-driven skilled technicians and trained assistants,” said Marie guy, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), DACVECC and Chief Medical Officer for VCA Animal Hospitals. “Certified Veterinary Technicians and Assistants play a vital role in the care of our patients and customers at all levels of veterinary medicine. We look forward to this program celebrating and recognizing the important role they play as key members of the veterinary care team. “

The survey results show the following:

  • Many pet owners are unaware of the wide range of services that veterinary assistants and qualified technicians can provide. Almost one in two (47%) do not believe that a veterinarian’s role is to perform medical tasks and procedures. A majority (62%) are unaware that zookeepers/techs can monitor and handle anesthetics, administer medications and perform diagnostic imaging during surgery.
  • Most pet owners do not fully understand the extensive educational requirements, qualifications, and professional training required to become a veterinary assistant. 63% are unaware that veterinary nurses/technicians are the animal health equivalent of Registered Nurses (RNs). One in five (20%) believe a veterinary assistant has less than two years of post-secondary education.
  • Nearly three-quarters (69%) of pet owners in the US say they feel more secure and comfortable after learning about veterinary assistants and the training and expertise they require to practice their pets.

“A more informed and educated consumer – and a better informed veterinarian and practice manager – will not only benefit animal caretakers and technicians, but also the practices in which they work.” The end result is better animal care,” said NAVTA President, Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition). “Once this is accomplished, consumers will feel just as comfortable with a veterinary tech caring for their pet as they would with an RN caring for their loved one in a hospital setting.”

The Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative builds on NAVC’s long history of empowering veterinary nurses and qualified technicians through its industry-leading publication, Today’s Veterinary Nurse, which features peer-reviewed articles and free continuing education in every issue; dedicated online resources for veterinary nurses/techs on VetFolio; the annual Earl Rippie Veterinary Nurse Leadership Fellowship; and hundreds of hours of CE and veterinary nurse and certified technician sessions at VMX each year.

The Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative program was announced today at a press conference at the 39th Annual Veterinary Meeting & Expo, VMX 2022, the veterinary industry’s largest and most comprehensive global veterinary conference presented annually by NAVC Orange County convention center in Orlando,FL.

For full program details visit us here.

To watch the video honoring the nurses shown at the press conference,

About the NAVC
The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and empowering veterinarians worldwide. As the world’s leading provider of veterinary medical education, NAVC provides essential training, tools and resources for veterinary professionals to keep up with advancements in veterinary medicine and provide the best medical care for animals everywhere. Through its commitment to innovation and excellence, NAVC has developed a diverse portfolio of products and services including: educational events led by VMX, the world’s largest and most comprehensive educational conference and launchpad for new products and innovations in the veterinary industry; a robust digital platform for virtual learning and engagement; the largest and award-winning portfolio of professional publications in the veterinary industry; and an advocacy arm uniting the veterinary community and animal lovers. The NAVC was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Orlando,FL. Since 2017, NAVC has been recognized annually by the Orlando Sentinel as one of the Top Workplaces. To learn more about NAVC’s products and brands, visit To see our schedule of upcoming events, visit

NAVTA is a US-based non-profit membership association of more than 8,000 certified veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and other veterinary assistants involved in the provision of veterinary care. NAVTA advances the veterinary technology and animal care profession through its advocacy and awareness programs and by providing opportunities for continued professional development. NAVTA supports the veterinary technology and animal care profession with a variety of programs and benefits available at

About VCA Veterinary Clinics
VCA Animal Hospitals operates more than 1,000 small animal veterinary clinics across the United States, Canada and Japan. The hospitals are staffed by more than 4,500 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians to provide pets with the best possible medical care, of which over 600 are board-certified specialists who are experts in areas such as internal medicine, oncology, cardiology, emergency and critical care Cases are care and surgery for animals. VCA Animal Hospitals offers a full range of general medical services to keep pets healthy and specialized treatment when pets are ill. As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of brands, VCA is committed to the goal of Mars Petcare – A Better World for Pets™

SOURCE North American Veterinary Community

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