Pet Nurse?? - page 8

while i have answered several discussions over the years this is my first thread. my question involves the use of the term "nurse". i thought that the term was protected by law in most states. my... Read More

  1. by   mrparhamrvt
    Quote from reesern63
    As long as they clarify that they are "veterinary" nurses, I don't see a problem. If they don't make the distinction, then it is an issue.

    I'm a bit puzzled why veterinary technicians would be postsing here, though. Do they not have a site where they can discuss issues relevant to their profession? JMO, but nursing (human) has enough problems getting muddled with other health care providers. While I respect vet. technicians and appreciate what they've done for my furbabies, their professional issues are not the same as nursing's.
    I know I came here initially to gather insight about the field in general. I was looking for some history on what actually worked with your profession. Yes we have boards, yes we have forums, I am part of the state organization (President actually), been a member of my national organization since I was a student, go to our state board meetings every other month, attend any meetings of our state Vet Association. Unfortunately, it is like beating my head against a wall somedays - old school docs wanting to pay high school kids to perform surgery behind closed doors because it is cheap and those of us who have a college degree and licensure in our state getting the short end just because we want more than minimum wage and no benies. So I come here and to other health profession boards to try and learn what worked for you in your fight for recognition. I also hope that maybe someone will wonder about that next "tech" who takes their pet to the back and whether they really are a tech or just some OJT assistant who may not be legally allowed to do half the stuff they are about to on your own pet.

    Quote from Indy
    My general impression of the vet-tech field is that they are in a similar situation to nursing when it was developing and prior to the national licensure. I don't think all states license them, you can still get a job in many places and learn OJT. The trend is going to be towards requiring vets to hire licensed personnel to work for them, hence the growing number of vet tech programs in community and tech colleges. When that happens they probably won't get much of a raise, if any.

    So. They're underpaid (because people just don't pay much to care for their animals, this is slowly changing), have differing levels of education from none to associate degree to enter the profession, lack coherent licensure nationally, and some people feel their title isn't quite right.

    They deal with the animals, a variety of situations, the owners, they assist the vet in everything from anesthesia to surgery to examinations, they are often barraged with paperwork in the office, and they do clean up more than their fair share of poop. They resemble nurses for humans both in job description and in professional status as we were developing years ago.

    I would not feel my title was diluted if "veterinary nurse" came into use as their title. Conscientious vet techs today probably have to explain that they don't work on humans from time to time, when people ask silly questions. There will always be people who didn't pass the NCLEX and want to claim knowledge or title that they don't have, and I don't think that has much bearing on what vet techs choose to call themselves if they do so correctly. That is, they can't say: professional nurse, registered professional nurse, licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse. They probably don't want to use those terms anyway- vet nurse or veterinary nurse is perfectly descriptive.

    As a profession, they will get their act together but seriously, I hope that when they do, there is none of this licensed versus registered business.
    Oh if you only knew - each state is totally different (much like nursing from what I have heard). We have RVTs here in Georgia, LVTs in South Carolina and CVTs in Florida. Georgia has some pretty strict rules on the books (now!!) and require the title only be used by those who hold licensure in the state. They also allow grandfathering of OJT personnel after 5 years (to end this next summer - thank gawd!!!). South Carolina has mention of techs in their practice act, but that's about where it ends. They require schooling to be a VT, but there is no mention of the title, no requirement of licensure to perform specific duties etc. Florida mentions the CVT, but the Vets and the VTS actually fight back and forth continuously about who should regulate the VT (seems like we should regulate ourselves personally???) but they both require schooling and state and national exams to hold the title. There is also mention of a few duties that require either schooling with the CVT OR other training to perform (euthanasia).


    Anyways - I really don't want to use the title nurse. My job entails so much outside of typical nursing skills. Heck I would be better fitted to something in the dental field most days. Or anesthesia - guess "veterinary nurse anesthetist" would be fitting too. I mean my main job title is "Surgery/Anesthesia Technician" and I really kind of like it. That is on the days when I am not stuck in the dental suite trying to train students (vet and VT) how to perform a proper prophy - seems like I would get further banging my head against that wall again!! Anyways, I guess I have come to terms with the title I have been given, I just want to fight for the recognition. I had hoped to get input and maybe some ideas from the nurses who have been through some of the legislative changes in your field. I had also hoped to maybe enlighten some people on some of the legalities and issues that may be going on in their own vet clinics. If you just assume the "tech" has schooling and licensure, you may be allowing an untrained OJT assistant to perform anesthesia, extract teeth or even worse - perform minor surgeries.
  2. by   teeituptom
    I feel this problem is over rated.

    I dont see where it diminshes me or nursing in anyway.

    I dont feel threatened by vet nurses.
  3. by   antimony07
    If you're not smart enough to know the difference between a "nurse" and a "PetNurse", then maybe it's not the "PetNurse's" education you should be worried about...
  4. by   Doubledee
    Some time ago, I happened to read a posting by Vet Techs who were bitter r/t what they considered unreasonable jealousy regarding the nurse designation. They argued how much they had to know about multiple species, procedures and general care of the owners as well. Their general tone was they ARE nurses for animals.
    But then again, the nurse designation IS protected because so many have tried to claim it for themselves.
    As it is, the Vets themselves, complain about the disparity between MD and VMD. I heard one say he wished he only had to deal with one species like the MDs.
    Give everyone his/her due share. I don't really believe anyone wants to work with critters in order to be called a nurse.
  5. by   tlvbabysoft
    Sounds like Banfield is trying to tap into a new breed of student...tech or assistant sounds so much less important

    I am currently a vet tech (not certified by choice) and have never went through a vet tech program (save for a high school class on vet-tech basics). The last I heard you could actually get certified based on experience alone (I believe it was two years full time at a vet with references and then off to take the test you go). I have worked at a vet since I was 16 (so about 9 years now) and started by working for the NOW president of the vet assoc. Just from my personal experiences with other techs who I work with, both experience-based learners and those who went to school (who by the way have no clue what-so-ever), we should in NO way be considered nurses of any type. Technician is a sufficient term and this comes from someone who actually has been allowed to do way more than most techs are allowed to by title. I WANT to be a nurse, not just an overated assistant like I am now. I love working with animals, but even the Vets I work with say they became a VET because they believed that working with animals is easier and way less stressful. Jeez, if one of our patients die the owners usually have them replaced in short of a week. Unfortunately, pets are considered replaceable whereas people are not. The difficulty of the job, both physically and emotionally should match the title!
  6. by   Fuzzy
    Grandfathering (becoming certified without going to school) is becoming a thing of the past in all but a few states. By 2010, it will most likely be done because the AAVSB who administers the test will require proof of graduation from an AVMA program before a person is allowed to sit for the exam. Many states are also finally looking into changing their practice acts. This will define more accurately what duties veterinary technicians and other staff can perform within the hospital setting. All I can say is that it's about time. For more information go to www.aavsb.org.

    Fuzzy
    Last edit by Fuzzy on Oct 21, '07
  7. by   ann945n
    I recently had an experience with a vet tech. When I brought in my cat to get his yearly vaccines I was informed that last year they gave him one they shouldnt have and they were very sorry. Of course I was upset but no harm no foul. They owned up to it and I believed they were going to do right by us, suuuure. So that same visit after they inform me of the mistake the tech goes and gets the vaccines ready for the vet. The tech comes back in and insists on take my cat temp rectal. I protest like ever year because he gets really upset but again I finally let her have my cat and she does the temp. In the process my cat of course freaks out like I warned her, she lets him go and he jumps off the counter. As Im watching him walk around he is limping, and still does to this day! I was beyond furious and sent her out of the room, what an attitude she had about that. Then the Vet comes in and appolgies and give him his shots. I ask to speak to the owner. A good 15 minutes later the owner comes in telling me that once again, they gave the wrong vaccines to him. Now Im pissed. To make a long story shorter the owner finds out the vet tech drew up the wrong meds and the VET didint double check them. The owner brings in the tech and fires her. I have since never returned to that place. I tried to report this to the state but guess what, techs are not tracked like nurses, there was no way for me to insure that this mistake didnt just get swept under the rug. This tech could walk down the street and continue to work on animals and no one would ever now.
    My point of this story is if Vet Techs want the title of nurse they need to be held to the same accountability as us human nurses. When that happens I will gladly share the title with them cause I do believe they are the closest thing pets get to having a nurse. I think though that the standard of care is just not there yet, even at a basic pet level of standard of care.
  8. by   teeituptom
    Quote from tlvbabysoft
    Sounds like Banfield is trying to tap into a new breed of student...tech or assistant sounds so much less important

    I am currently a vet tech (not certified by choice) and have never went through a vet tech program (save for a high school class on vet-tech basics). The last I heard you could actually get certified based on experience alone (I believe it was two years full time at a vet with references and then off to take the test you go). I have worked at a vet since I was 16 (so about 9 years now) and started by working for the NOW president of the vet assoc. Just from my personal experiences with other techs who I work with, both experience-based learners and those who went to school (who by the way have no clue what-so-ever), we should in NO way be considered nurses of any type. Technician is a sufficient term and this comes from someone who actually has been allowed to do way more than most techs are allowed to by title. I WANT to be a nurse, not just an overated assistant like I am now. I love working with animals, but even the Vets I work with say they became a VET because they believed that working with animals is easier and way less stressful. Jeez, if one of our patients die the owners usually have them replaced in short of a week. Unfortunately, pets are considered replaceable whereas people are not. The difficulty of the job, both physically and emotionally should match the title!
    I know a guy who had his wife replaced within a week, after she died , and he also got a new set of golf clubs.Nothing wrong there.
  9. by   HillaryC
    I would be absolutely furious. Vaccines are not benign, especially in cats. There is a type of cancer in cats that's linked to vaccinations, and although it's rare, it's still a big deal when it's your cat that gets it. My friend's cat died a very sad and untimely death from this tumor.

    I would be so angry if I were you. It's good you won't go back to that vet; is there a board you can report this vet hospital to? If the tech has no legal accountability, wouldn't the vet then be accountable for what others working under him do?

    What scares me most of all is taking my dogs to get their teeth cleaned, knowing that the anesthesia is usually left to the support staff, regardless of whether they have any kind of formal education. That absolutely terrifies me. I stopped going to my old vet in large part because I was so disturbed by the high rate of turnover in his support staff, most of whom seemed to have on the job training only. I chose to start taking them to a really good teaching hospital that delineates the roles of the front desk staff, assistants, and veterinary technicians. I feel a lot better about taking my animals there.

    Quote from ann945n
    I recently had an experience with a vet tech. When I brought in my cat to get his yearly vaccines I was informed that last year they gave him one they shouldnt have and they were very sorry. Of course I was upset but no harm no foul. They owned up to it and I believed they were going to do right by us, suuuure. So that same visit after they inform me of the mistake the tech goes and gets the vaccines ready for the vet. The tech comes back in and insists on take my cat temp rectal. I protest like ever year because he gets really upset but again I finally let her have my cat and she does the temp. In the process my cat of course freaks out like I warned her, she lets him go and he jumps off the counter. As Im watching him walk around he is limping, and still does to this day! I was beyond furious and sent her out of the room, what an attitude she had about that. Then the Vet comes in and appolgies and give him his shots. I ask to speak to the owner. A good 15 minutes later the owner comes in telling me that once again, they gave the wrong vaccines to him. Now Im pissed. To make a long story shorter the owner finds out the vet tech drew up the wrong meds and the VET didint double check them. The owner brings in the tech and fires her. I have since never returned to that place. I tried to report this to the state but guess what, techs are not tracked like nurses, there was no way for me to insure that this mistake didnt just get swept under the rug. This tech could walk down the street and continue to work on animals and no one would ever now.
    My point of this story is if Vet Techs want the title of nurse they need to be held to the same accountability as us human nurses. When that happens I will gladly share the title with them cause I do believe they are the closest thing pets get to having a nurse. I think though that the standard of care is just not there yet, even at a basic pet level of standard of care.
  10. by   Fuzzy
    Ann954n I sorry to hear about your kitty's bad experience. Was this vet tech credentialed ie schooled, passed the national exam, etc., do you know? If she was credentialed and therefore a member of her state association, you might have some recourse by contacting your state vet tech association (go to www.navta.net to find a list). In any case person was still working under the doctor's license. The doctor can be brought up on charges along with the vet tech in some states. Again this depends how your state veterinary practice act is written and enforced.

    The only way that vet techs will be held accountable is to have the public tell their legislators how important this is to you. Most of us do not want to be considered nurses but we do want some regulation as to whom can call themselves veterinary technicians. Most of us want good state practice acts, standards and education to follow in our chosen careers. Those who don't are like the person who mistreated your cat. Therefore they should not be considered veterinary technicians. They only way to get some legislation and control is to make this a public issue.

    Fuzzy

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