Looking for support and respect with little to no results

  1. Hello. I am a RVT in GA. For those of you who do not know what this means ... I am a registered veterinary technician. I graduated from a 2 year degree program that covered the many different disciplines applied to many different species of animals. After graduation, I took a national exam to "prove" my level of acquired competency. I do NOT want the title of Nurse nor do I like the thought of using it in any way. However, there are many in our profession who feel that it describes what we do more accurately. I have tried repeatedly to find support with people who work in the nursing field. Every single time, I have received negative responses and ridicule from Nurses who feel that my education and hard work were a joke. Why is this? Why do members of your field believe that our profession (veterinary technology) holds no value? While it is true that I may not work on humans (who yes I agree are worth more than animals) my job is just as demanding and heartbreaking. I work in surgery & anesthesia, and as a result I am required to know many different drugs and their effects on our anesthesia cases. Not only do I maintain anesthesia on our surgical patients, I also am responsible for their induction/intubation & recovery. I also work in our local practice, educating clients on normal/abnormal behavior, vaccination protocols, preventative medicine, nutritional counseling, and dental disease which is often followed by full cleaning (which require me to not only clean their teeth but also maintanence of anesthesia while I am doing so). There have been weeks when I have dealt with euthanasia daily, which not only includes performing the task but also helping our grieving clients work through the loss. I do all of this on an income that most of you would be appalled by, just like many others in our field. Would someone please explain to me why my job and what I do daily is looked down upon by members of your profession? Why is it that not one single nurse I have spoke to, looking for support, thinks that it is worth the time and effort to work together towards better recognition and respect for both of our professions?
    Sorry if this infuriates those of you who feel my profession is not worthy, but I am alittle upset after reading some of the many mean spirited and down right ignorant (in the way of what our profession entails) responses from others throughout this forum. I came here looking for help in getting our profession recognized and found some extremely negative attitudes.
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Sorry if this infuriates those of you who feel my profession is not worthy, but I am alittle upset after reading some of the many mean spirited and down right ignorant (in the way of what our profession entails) responses from others throughout this forum.
    The only things i've come across here that's negative about RVTs about was about RVTs from a particular website, that were slamming people nurses to the ground, and i mean slamming. That doesn't mean the replies were aimed at all RVTs though.

    Also the word "nurse" is a protected title in most states, has nothing to do with worthiness or not, it just the way the law is.

    And last but not least, respect goes both ways.

    That being said, i could never do an RVTs job, but respect those that can do it. While i have a soft heart for people in need, i have an extremely soft heart for animals, and couldn't resist the urge to knock the crap out of some people for the way they treat animals, and i know that neglect and abuse is part of the reason animals wind up at a vet's office.
  4. by   mrparhamrvt
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Also the word "nurse" is a protected title in most states, has nothing to do with worthiness or not, it just the way the law is.

    And last but not least, respect goes both ways.
    Thank you for your honest response. I know that respect goes both ways and I am sorry that you have found negative feedback regarding RNs on another site. I guess it truely goes both ways. I also know about nurse being a protected title ... have seen, heard and preached on the subject to many of my counterparts across the field of vet med. I wish everyone understood that many states as well have laws similar, making the use of veterinary technician illegeal except by those of us who have earned such title.

    Again, Thank You!
  5. by   anne74
    Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the ignorance about your profession. I work with a Vet Tech who is now in nursing school, and I never knew everything you guys did - I think it's very impressive. And, a lot of the procedures and concepts are very similiar to human care.

    I personally wouldn't be offended if you were known as a "Vet Nurse" - but you should distinguish yourself as a "Vet Nurse" and not just a "Nurse" - only because the public would get confused.

    Perhaps the public just needs to be better educated about your scope of practice and skill set. It sounds like you have a vast amount of skills and knowledge, and you certainly have the same amount of schooling as an ASN nurse. Hats off to you! Sorry you're not getting the respect you deserve.
  6. by   southern_rn_brat
    You ask why? Have you reread your own post? It is very confrontational. IMO it puts anyone who reads it on the defensive. Maybe it is your approach?
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Also i found this at Yahoo Groups:

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/v...rytechnicians/

    Not attempting to discourage you from being here, but i thought that particular link might be beneficial.
  8. by   mrparhamrvt
    Quote from southern_rn_brat
    You ask why? Have you reread your own post? It is very confrontational. IMO it puts anyone who reads it on the defensive. Maybe it is your approach?
    That is not my intent. Unfortunately, I realize that my post may be read that way. I assure you that is not my intent. What I wrote was more out of hurt and confusion than anger. In the past I asked in a very (I thought) non-confrontational manner and was immediately slammed. The previous posts included questions on who to contact for support from within the nursng community, how Nurse felt about some Vet Techs feelings on using the title Vey Nirse ( I do NOT agree with this stance), and even simple questions on requirements for the different levels of Nurse titles. We have AS and BS degrees available as well as different specialties that can be acheived and I was trying to find correlations between the 2 fields/professions to present in a public announcement type of presentation for HS kids and such.


    Anyways, I am a member of nearly every Vet Med forum board out there, including many many yahoo groups as well as those on myspace and the real forums similar to this. I was just looking for help and support from those of you in the human medicine side of things, including ideas and opinions on how nursing has made so many changes and how your field compares to ours.

    Thanks for all the honest and open responses. Sorry if the initial post came off harsh.
    Melanie R. Parham, RVT
  9. by   nurse4theplanet
    Although what an RVT does may be medically similar to that which a nurse does, they are distinctly different. The nurse administers care to a human which involves emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual elements which are not found in veterinary medicine.

    Edited to add: I should say that I have an extreme respect for what you do...I love my puppy like he is a family member, and I don't have a strong enough heart to work with sick animals.
  10. by   starryx2
    Dear Melanie,

    I think that you are in right place, and you shoudn't call yourself a "vet nurse" just to keep the public straight but becuase you are care taker of those in need and their families. The only difference is that the ones you take care of are usually 4 legged, and dont have a voice as we do to tell us when they need help or that they are hurting. I for one could never do what you do, because I can't keep myself together when it comes to animals, my heart goes out to them. You do a job that many of us could not do. Also can I add aren't we all animals, haha, I know that many people would say that thats just not right and that isnt a good analogy but Im just trying to make a point.
    I think that we can learn from each other especially regarding dealing with families, and consoluing those that have lost "a family member" for whatever reason. Also I do believe that a lot of the procedures that you do at as a vet tech are very very similar to what we do, your just doing them on dogs and kittens, and the many other things that we do on a day to day basis. You save peoples "babies and children" and I know veteratnairy medicine has moved a long way.

    So Melanie, Keep your head up high as a Vet Nurse, and keep our little furry friends happy one life at a time. I extend a big welcome and hello, to you here.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The nurse administers care to a human which involves emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual elements which are not found in veterinary medicine.
    I don't really agree with that. I think there are psychological, mental, and spiritual elements with animals as well. (ex. the abuse animal introduced into a loving home, animal thinks that all people are out to hurt him.)
  12. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I don't really agree with that. I think there are psychological, mental, and spiritual elements with animals as well. (ex. the abuse animal introduced into a loving home, animal thinks that all people are out to hurt him.)
    While I can place some "human" characteristics on my own little Yorkie, who does feel emotion/pain etc., it is not the same as human emotion and thus would be addressed differently in the nursing sense. I do not think that RVTs are similar to nurses in the nursing realm of care.
  13. by   TiffyRN
    I respect your profession; have had several pets through the years.

    I think to help you understand why you get such a lack of respect from Nurses please peruse some of the threads here regarding ADN vs. BSN, LPN vs. RN, Wars with the floors (ER nurses vs. floor nurses); so on. Nurses can show a significant lack of respect amongst ourselves if one group feels their education or experience is superior to another's.

    Now it is an issue with me about anyone but an RN or LPN calling themselves a nurse but you recognize that this is an issue.

    Anyway, I apoligize for the attitutes you have encountered. I thought about entering vet medicine but decided against it as I wanted to be able to talk with my patients. Ironically enough now I work with newborns.
  14. by   Jules A
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    Although what an RVT does may be medically similar to that which a nurse does, they are distinctly different. The nurse administers care to a human which involves emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual elements which are not found in veterinary medicine.
    I would disagree with this statement because a huge part of being a veterinary nurse (in my opinion that is exactly what they are) is dealing with the emotional, mental, pyschological and spiritual elements of the animal's human. Their AA degree program is almost exactly the same as our ADN, at least in my state, same pre-reqs etc. But guess what? Their pay is about 1/3 what we make.

    My serious hope is that as time passes and the specialities expand and veterinarians start running their practices more like a business things will improve. However as much as I respect your profession I do think that RVTs need to get their act together and demand better wages, benefits and respect. The states should be encouraged to enforce what techs and assistants are legally allowed to do etc. We as human nurses might be able to brainstorm with you but truthfully our professions really don't belong together. I am not saying one is more important than the other because my view is that giving excellent health care to my animals is every bit as valuable as giving good health care to my Sister but they are different professions.

    Wow this is a great thread and one very near to my heart. Thanks for stopping by. Jules

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