vet techs using the term nurse - page 5

what do you guys think of the growing controversy of vet techs calling themselves nurses?... Read More

  1. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Ok,
    So where does the superiority attitude that I've been labled with come from?

    Because I want to function more in the medical model than the psychosocial one?

    Am I being stereotyped with MD wannabees?
  2. by   ANnot4me
    And what about those Rug Doctors?????????????
  3. by   JLSL95
    I am a Certified Veterinary Technician. Now, I'm a SAHM, but I just wanted to add some things. We go through a 2 or 4 year program with rotations done at a Veterinary school. We actually have the Vet students asking for our help when we rotate with them on their 3rd year! They have no clinicals until 3rd year.

    A few things that we do are drawing blood, giving vaccinations, client education, we talk to the clients a lot about care or about the disease their pet may have, we train owners on giving medications or injections, we put in IV and urinary catheters, we x-ray, we do dental prophys, we monitor patients in the hospital continulously, we anesthetize animal, intubate them, monitor them during and after surgery, we scrub in to assist in surgeries, we suture, we run labwork, CBC's, urinalysis, cultures, and some clinics don't have the fancy bloodwork machines, and bloodwork must be done by hand on a microscope, we evaluate our patients to see if they are in pain, or how they are reacting, because as you know they don't talk and can't tell us what hurts! We have quarantine and have to take care of quarantined animals and constantly monitor them as well as all of the other patients. Most vet hospitals don't have the fancy equiptment to monitor patients like human hospitals do. I just wanted to state some of our job duties, because some of the posts here really hurt my feelings. They act like we just play with animals!

    We get NO respect most of the time, as you nurses don't either. We get WAY WAY less pay! I don't know of a vet tech in my state or area that makes over $25,000, unless they are in research. We don't have unions or anyone to protect us. We have so few techs that work in one hospital, so our tech to patient ration is unbelievable. A lot of hospitals are open 24 hours, and techs are on call just like nurses, so the comment about, we'll come back in the morning to see if it's still alive, really stung! I think some people here need to go and spend a few days behind the scenes at a veterinary hospital!

    As far as the name thing goes. I'm proud to be a Veterinary Technician. I understand why some people want it changed though. If they did change it, I would hope they changed it to Veterinary Nurse, so they didn't think we were people nurses. I think the term tech makes it seem like we are just techs! Even from the responses here, it seems people didn't realize that we have to graduate from an accredited program, and pass our state boards too. I don't know what techs in the human field do, but my guess is they don't have that much schooling or take boards? A lot of Vet hospitals used to have people they trained on the job, and called them Vet techs. I think this is why most Vet techs want the name changed to something else, because the public doesn't know what a tech does, and thinks we were just hired and trained on the job. Veterinary Assistants are those who didn't go to school and have been trained on the job. We don't have a union or anything protecting us, so anyone in a vet clinic can call themselves a tech if they want, and if the Vet is one of the many that doesn't care. It's a huge fight between those trained on the job and those that are actually Techs. They think we just learned useless book stuff! It's incredible to see the attitudes these trained on the job ones have. I for one as an owner, would want a tech that did go to school and did learn the whos, whats, whys, and whens of things.

    I know I am rambling and I dont' have time to proof read so I hope this makes sense. Maybe the answer is to make the public more informed of what a CVT actually does, and to make the trained on the job person an assistant instead of calling them a tech. But, until we have people pulling for us or helping us, I think this is the reason that some want our title changed to Veterinary nurse. I hope this helped to shed some light on the subject.

    I for one am not going back to work as a CVT. As much as I miss my patients, and especially the ones that were on chemo when I left, I want to stay home with my kids. I also am sick of the physical aspects of it. People don't think of that either. We work long shifts like you do, and NEVER get out on time! We don't always have a CVT coming in to take over, so most days I would get out 3-4 hours after I was supposed to if the Dr. scheduled herself 8 surgeries, and we had 2 HBC's come in, and a litter of Parvo pups! You get bit, scratched, and attacked, like I'm sure you do too! lol It's just too much, and with no support or manager type person in charge it's just too much!

    My dream job would be to go back to school for nursing, and to be an OB nurse. I know it would be a lot of work and really tough, but I would love it! I didn't realize how much until I had my own kids. But, I know you are also always open! Weekends, holidays, whatever, so it wouldn't be right for me with kids. I being a new person would most likely get those bad shifts! lol I want to attend my kids things, so maybe when they are grown I will think about it! Would anyone hire me when my kids are grown and I'm just starting? Say around 45 years old or so?

    Ok, like I said I hope this made sense, and I didn't ramble or have too many misspellings! lol I also wanted to say that I lurk at the Ob boards all the time, and I think you guys are great! I have great respect for all nurses, but that is where I lurk! lol
  4. by   JLSL95
    I also forgot to add that there are only 4 things a CVT can't do!

    1. Diagnose
    2. Prognose
    3. Prescribe drugs
    4. Perform Surgery

    I just wanted to add that for those that don't know what a CVT does.

    SuzyK, I was just reading the old threads from November on this subject. I saw that at your vet, you don't deal with the vet techs. Some hospitals don't utilize their techs as well, or maybe your vet is one of those that has only trained on the job "techs", so they aren't allowed to do client education. I suggest you switch Veterinary hospitals maybe! Good luck with that.
  5. by   Q.
    I think the term tech makes it seem like we are just techs! Even from the responses here, it seems people didn't realize that we have to graduate from an accredited program, and pass our state boards too. I don't know what techs in the human field do, but my guess is they don't have that much schooling or take boards?
    Actually, surgical techs and Physical therapy techs/assistants DO attend schooling, some with Associate degree level, and also have their own certification. The term "nurse" does not imply how much school you attend or if you have to take an exam to be licensed with the state. Nurses here already have diverse amounts of schooling from 2 year to 4 year. A licensing exam simply means you are regulated by some accrediting body - that's all - it doesn't mean you are a nurse.

    The term nurse is much more than how many years of school or that you start IVs, draw blood and do other psychomotor skills. Nurse is much, much, much MORE than that. I wish people could understand that.
  6. by   JNJ
    In the UK the term 'nurse' is protected by law and may only be used by qualified nurses who nurse people.
  7. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    they're nurses too & they only have to go to school for a minimum of one year to 18 months. your last post mentions nursing school education ranging from 2-4 yrs...which is correct for rn education :wink2:.

    here's my thoughts on vet tech/nurse

    cheers!
    moe
    Last edit by SKM-NURSIEPOOH on Jan 3, '03
  8. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    JLSL95,

    Thank you for presenting facts. I wondered where the idea came from and thought we might observe similarities in job description and curicculum.

    It was a very interesting read.
  9. by   JLSL95
    Well, thanks for clarifying that Suzy. We as CVT's though do the same things nurses do. You are obviously not going to understand it because you think of animals badly and having no feelings, etc. You obviously have some issues with them.

    I seriously suggest you go job shadow for a day or two. I wouldn't at your vet though, because like I said before it sounds as if he doesn't utilize his techs very well if you have never seen them or heard from them. Good luck with that. After you do that for a few days then come and tell me what we do isn't as important or as hard as an RN!
  10. by   JLSL95
    I forgot to add that we do much more than pyschomotor skills as well Suzy!
  11. by   RN2B2005
    I worked as a licenced veterinary technician for almost five years, and still maintain my licence and do per diem work on occasion. I encourage you to visit the North American Veterinary Technician Association (NAVTA) website to learn more about LICENCED veterinary technicians.

    To those who think that veterinary technicians are uneducated or don't go through the same amount of schooling that RN's go through, consider this: To sit for the voluntary national NAVTA boards (similar to the NCLEX-RN, except the examination covers everything from cattle to guinea pigs), you must either graduate with an A.A.Sc. or B.Sc. in veterinary technology from a NAVTA-accredited school, or you must work in the field full-time for a minimum of five years and then sit for the exam. Sound familiar?

    Veterinary technicians do everything RN's do, and more. We ARE the pharmacist (most vets have in-office drug stocks, so the NAVTA exam covers drug compounding), the anesthetist (ever seen an anesthesiologist at a spay/neuter clinic?), the x-ray tech (only we shoot the films while resting our heads against the collimator, trying to keep an angry Rottweiler from chewing through our lead aprons), and the physical labor (ever wondered how that Great Dane gets on the operating table?). And for all this, the AVERAGE salary for a licenced veterinary technician after FIVE YEARS in practice (and the two or four year degree) is only $24,000 per year (incidentally, the average veterinarian after five years in practice, and with the same amount of schooling as a physician, makes less than $50,000 per year). Not surprisingly, very few licenced veterinary technicians--including myself--stay in the field for more than ten years.

    Why? Because pet owners will only pay X amount of dollars for their dog or cat's care--after all, the vet is just trying to rip you off, right? I mean, any idiot can do a total oopherectomy/hysterectomy on a neonatal patient--oh, wait, I mean a spay on a four-pound kitten.

    Unfortunately, there is no MANDATORY nationwide (or even, in some states, statewide) educational requirement for 'vet techs'. The only national body is NAVTA, and although some states--like Washington--do licence and define the scope of practice of veterinary technicians, most states will let any idiot off the street call themselves a 'vet tech' or 'vet assistant'. Many veterinarians, primarily due to financial constraints, hire uneducated lay assistants, some with no experience with veterinary medical care beyond playing dress-up in elementary school. Most pet owners either don't understand or don't care whether or not the person administering the halothane to Fido (or shooting the x-ray, or drawing the blood) has a licence or any experience.

    As a veterinary technician, I usually received blank stares when I mentioned what I did for a living. More than once, I was asked if that meant I cleaned kennels or hauled out the trash (yes--in addition to bagging vent patients, monitoring post-anesthesia patients, and running blood). Using the term 'veterinary nurse'--always with the 'veterinary' modifier--generally cleared up the confusion. In some countries, especially Great Britain, the term 'veterinary nurse' is a legitimate title, and appears on the licence.

    So, don't be so quick to take umbrage at vet techs who try to clarify their job duties by saying "I'm a veterinary nurse." Simply rephrase the statement--"so, you're a licenced veterinary technician?"--and congratulate yourself for choosing a veterinarian with enough sense to hire, and pay, someone who sat through the same classes you did.

    RN's and LPN's should pick fights with people who call CNA's and HHA's and unlicenced lay people "nurse", and realise that vet techs aren't trying to usurp the title--vet techs have had it all along.




  12. by   JLSL95
    Very well said RN2B!!!
  13. by   RN2B2005
    I worked as a licenced veterinary technician for almost five years, and still maintain my licence and do per diem work on occasion. I encourage you to visit the North American Veterinary Technician Association (NAVTA) website to learn more about LICENCED veterinary technicians.

    To those who think that veterinary technicians are uneducated or don't go through the same amount of schooling that RN's go through, consider this: To sit for the voluntary national NAVTA boards (similar to the NCLEX-RN, except the examination covers everything from cattle to guinea pigs), you must either graduate with an A.A.Sc. or B.Sc. in veterinary technology from a NAVTA-accredited school, or you must work in the field full-time for a minimum of five years and then sit for the exam. Sound familiar?

    Veterinary technicians do everything RN's do, and more. We ARE the pharmacist (most vets have in-office drug stocks, so the NAVTA exam covers drug compounding), the anesthetist (ever seen an anesthesiologist at a spay/neuter clinic?), the x-ray tech (only we shoot the films while resting our heads against the collimator, trying to keep an angry Rottweiler from chewing through our lead aprons), and the physical labor (ever wondered how that Great Dane gets on the operating table?). And for all this, the AVERAGE salary for a licenced veterinary technician after FIVE YEARS in practice (and the two or four year degree) is only $24,000 per year (incidentally, the average veterinarian after five years in practice, and with the same amount of schooling as a physician, makes less than $50,000 per year). Not surprisingly, very few licenced veterinary technicians--including myself--stay in the field for more than ten years.

    Why? Because pet owners will only pay X amount of dollars for their dog or cat's care--after all, the vet is just trying to rip you off, right? I mean, any idiot can do a total oopherectomy/hysterectomy on a neonatal patient--oh, wait, I mean a spay on a four-pound kitten.

    Unfortunately, there is no MANDATORY nationwide (or even, in some states, statewide) educational requirement for 'vet techs'. The only national body is NAVTA, and although some states--like Washington--do licence and define the scope of practice of veterinary technicians, most states will let any idiot off the street call themselves a 'vet tech' or 'vet assistant'. Many veterinarians, primarily due to financial constraints, hire uneducated lay assistants, some with no experience with veterinary medical care beyond playing dress-up in elementary school. Most pet owners either don't understand or don't care whether or not the person administering the halothane to Fido (or shooting the x-ray, or drawing the blood) has a licence or any experience.

    As a veterinary technician, I usually received blank stares when I mentioned what I did for a living. More than once, I was asked if that meant I cleaned kennels or hauled out the trash (yes--in addition to bagging vent patients, monitoring post-anesthesia patients, and running blood). Using the term 'veterinary nurse'--always with the 'veterinary' modifier--generally cleared up the confusion. In some countries, especially Great Britain, the term 'veterinary nurse' is a legitimate title, and appears on the licence.

    So, don't be so quick to take umbrage at vet techs who try to clarify their job duties by saying "I'm a veterinary nurse." Simply rephrase the statement--"so, you're a licenced veterinary technician?"--and congratulate yourself for choosing a veterinarian with enough sense to hire, and pay, someone who sat through the same classes you did.

    RN's and LPN's should pick fights with people who call CNA's and HHA's and unlicenced lay people "nurse", and realise that vet techs aren't trying to usurp the title--vet techs have had it all along.





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