Veterinary Technicians have been more and more interested in attaining a higher level of recognition for advanced knowledge and skills in specific disciplines. Therefore, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America established the Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS). CVTS is a body that provides a standardized list of criteria, as well as, help for societies that are interested in getting academy status.
This Committee, which is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association, was founded in 1994 and it provides guidelines to veterinary technician organizations in order to facilitate the formation of a specialty organization. In order for a candidate to be awarded the designation of Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in a certain discipline, a candidate has to follow the advanced pathways developed by academies.
All veterinary technicians can pursue a higher level of knowledge and be recognized for their developed skills in certain disciplines. These veterinary technician specialties can be achieved by following and successfully completing a course in a veterinary technician organization accredited both by NAVTA and AVMA.
The Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties has come up with a CVTS Guidelines, a document that contains all procedures and standards. The CVTS operates and governs the specialty academies by these standards. Moreover, all the requirements and standards for the establishment of a specialty academy are set by the CVTS.
The Difference Between a Society vs. an Academy
A number of veterinaries decide to specialize in a certain area. An academy is defined as a group of veterinary technicians who have received formal, specialized training, testing, and certification in an area. The NAVTA recognized academies in several specialties, such as anesthesia, behavior, internal medicine, dental technology, emergency, and critical care, zoological medicine, and equine veterinary nursing.
On the other hand, a society is a group of veterinary technicians who represent a distinct and identifiable specialty, supported by a veterinary specialty. The members of a society may or may not have received formal training and may or may not be certified in that specialty. They can become members of an academy if they meet certain requirements. Veterinary technician societies recognized by NAVTA are specialized in the fields of behavior, equine veterinary technology, zoo veterinary technology, and emergency and critical care.
Veterinary Technician Specialty (VTS) Academies and Societies Approved by NAVTA
There are a number of academies that have been completely approved and recognized by NAVTA, such as:
- The Academy of Internal Medicine Veterinary
- The Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians
The academies which have been provisionally recognized according to the NAVTA CVTS requirements include
- Veterinary Technician Specialist in Anesthesia and Analgesia
- The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Diagnostic Imaging
- The Academy of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians and Nurses
- The Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Zoological Medicine
- The Academy of Veterinary Clinical Pathology Technicians
- The Academy of Dermatology Veterinary Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice
- The Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Ophthalmic Technicians
- The Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians
Last but not least, the societies which have been approved by the NAVTA are The Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians, Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians, Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, The American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians, The American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians, and Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians.
Veterinary Technician Specialties Recognized by NAVTA
There are 15 official specialties that have been approved and recognized by NAVTA. The fourteenth specialty joined the existing thirteen NAVTA recognized veterinary technician specialties in November 2016. Currently, the NAVTA recognized veterinary technician specialties are
- Internal medicine,
- Dental technology,
- Emergency and critical care,
- Zoological medicine,
- Clinical practice,
- Equine veterinary nursing,
- Dermatology and ophthalmology,
- Clinical pathology,
- Laboratory animal medicine,
- Physical rehabilitation.
Moreover, a new 16th specialty academy for veterinary technicians is announced to be joining the existing specialties. It has been revealed that the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Diagnostic Imaging (AVTDI) will be the newly recognized academy. This is an excellent opportunity for veterinary technicians who are eager to learn more about performing higher-level diagnostic imaging, such as digital radiography, CT, fluoroscopic special procedures MRI, ultrasonography, and nuclear imaging.
Nowadays, the demand for qualified veterinary technicians is huge which makes it an excellent career choice. Veterinary technicians who want to take their careers to the next level can select one of the fourteen specialty certifications. Hence, most of the veterinary technician specialties will be entailed having a degree, 3-5 years of work experience, skill logs and case studies, attendance at continuing education events, letters of recommendation, and passing a comprehensive exam.
Nevertheless, becoming certified in a vet tech specialty will come with plenty of benefits. So, you will be able to educate clients, earn more, increase the overall productivity of the veterinary office, get more professional opportunities, and gain greater expertise and knowledge.