Pet Nurse??

  1. 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 understanding was that only people who were rn's or lpn's could use the title nurse. am i wrong?

    over the past few years, i have seen ads of a veterinary corporation (banfield) looking for "pet nurses". a typical ad looks like this: taken from the banfield website at http://www.banfield.net/careers/other_positions.asp.
    description
    general function the petnurse supports the veterinarians in ensuring quality veterinary care for all pets, advocates for pets, educates clients on all aspects of pet health, and ensures a safe and effective hospital environment. duties and responsibilities act as the extra eyes, ears and hands for the veterinarian to ensure the best quality pet care and to maximize the veterinarian's productivity. lead veterinarians and veterinary medical team through the cycle of service and communicate with the other team members to maintain the flow of patients. provide professional, efficient and exceptional service at all times. this includes performing procedures that do not require veterinarian assistance, completing preparatory work for other procedures, ensuring that clients and pets are comfortable in the hospital, and monitoring hospitalized or surgical pets. educate clients about optimum wellness plans, preventative care, pet health needs, any diagnosis or treatment, hospital services and other issues. obtain relevant information and history from clients and maintain proper and complete medical charts. ensure the safety of pets, clients and team members by utilizing safe restraining techniques, following standard protocols, and maintaining clean, sterile and organized treatment areas, exam rooms and labs. perform other duties as assigned. petnurse profile working condition: physical ability - ability to work with and around pets (and clients) with complete comfort, confidence and ease (i.e., dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, etc.). ability to regularly stand, and to reach and feel with hands and arms. ability to frequently walk, stoop, kneel, or crouch, and to lift or move up to 50 pounds. work schedule - ability and willingness to work a schedule that may include a variety of shifts, including evening, weekends and holidays, and may vary from week to week based on business needs. required capabilities: compassionate commitment to pet care - clearly, confidently and professionally presents the pet treatment recommendation as an advocate for the pet, gaining the client's agreement to proceed with the treatment best suited to the pet's current condition and long term health. communication skills - reads, writes and speaks fluent english, using appropriate grammar, style and vocabulary. correctly spells commonly used english words and medical terms. fluent in spanish in markets where local population is predominantly spanish speaking. ability to multi-task- manages multiple medical, diagnostic, service and/or administrative tasks at one time; quickly and accurately shifts attention among multiple tasks under distracting conditions without loss of accuracy or appearance of frustration. customer service skills - consistently provides clients and pets with attentive, courteous and informative service. gains and shows personal satisfaction from delivering good service, seeing pet health improve and satisfying clients. problem solving skills- quickly determines when subtle indicators of medical conditions can result in threats to pet health/longevity and questions clients to identify causes; transmits accurate and complete patient medical history and status to the veterinarian verbally and through petware. intellectual ability - accurately and consistently follows instructions delivered in an oral, written or diagram format. mathematical ability - ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide, and to compute rate, ratio and percent; ability to convert units of measurement. computer skills - comfortably and confidently uses a computer and specialized software to check clients in and out, update client and patient records, and conduct and balance daily transactions, among other things. required attitudes: integrity - firmly adheres to the values and ethics of banfield, the pet hospital. exhibits honesty, discretion, and sound judgment. cooperativeness - willing to work with others, collaborating and compromising where necessary; promptly shares relevant information with others. initiative - shows willingness and aptitude to use own discretion in taking appropriate steps in finding solutions to problems; presents options and ideas to enhance current processes or procedures. takes on additional responsibility when both big and small tasks need to be done; seeks out the most valuable work to do during times when the hospital faces low client demand. tolerance for stress - maintains a positive "can do" outlook, rebounds quickly from frustrations and unpleasantness, maintains composure and friendly demeanor while dealing with stressful situations. flexibility - is open to changing situations and opportunities within the hospital and is willing to perform all tasks as assigned. is available and willing to work all hours required to ensure hospital functions efficiently. willing to assist other area hospitals as needed. independence - able and willing to perform tasks and duties without constant supervision. education and/or experience high school graduate or equivalent. associate or bachelor degree, veterinary technician certification or licensure or one year of related experience preferred. benefits: pt team members enjoy the following benefits: competitive salary and bonuses 401(k) retirement savings plan employee assistance program basic wellness plans for one pet 20% discount off banfield veterinary care not covered by wellness plans 15% discount off qualifying merchandise at petsmart superstores waltham pet food rebate program 15% discount off club rates for "rapid results platinum memberships" and above at most bally total fitness clubs ft team members enjoy the following benefits in addition to the benefits listed above: medical, prescription, dental and vision insurance life insurance for team members and dependents health and dependent care flexible spending accounts short and long-term disability insurance accidental death & dismemberment (ad&d) insurance up to 21 days of paid time off per year basic wellness plans for up to three pets we are a drug-free, smoke-free, equal opportunity employer. company policy, federal and state laws forbid discrimination because of age, color, race, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation or national origin
    i don't have a problem with banfield in general. in fact i don't know much about them. i just have a problem with the term "pet nurse" when we are/should be considered veterinary technicians. the other problem that i have is that the banfield "pet nurses" do not have to have any training in veterinary technology in order to be considered a "pet nurse" although it is preferred. several years ago the veterinary technician community wanted the change the title to veterinary nurse. the ana told our association (navta) that the terminology was illegal in many states. so i was wondering why banfield can use the term "nurse" and the veterinary community as a whole cannot. seems strange to me. oh and for the record, i prefer to be called a veterinary technician.

    fuzzy, cvt
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    About Fuzzy

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 928; Likes: 588
    veterinary technician or veterinary nurse (depending on what counry you're in)

    100 Comments

  3. by   burn out
    I would ventrure to guess that Banfield has not been found out yet by the ANA..maybe they need reported.
  4. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I didn't see any reference to having a degree or license, but they sure do want a lot from their vet techs, don't they?
  5. by   CritterLover
    i agree with burn out -- they probably get away with it because no one has complained. it is illegal in most -- i actually think all -- states to use the title "nurse" if one isn't an rn or lpn. and they certainly are using the term as a title.

    i may be in the minority, but i personally wouldn't have a problem with it (calling certified vet techs "animal nurses" or whatever; i have much respect for their education/talent/abilities)........except that the term nurse is, indeed, a protected title, making it illegal.

    i'd bet that the corporation isn't aware that the title "nurse" is a protected one.
  6. by   Jules A
    Quote from critterlover
    i may be in the minority, but i personally wouldn't have a problem with it (calling certified vet techs "animal nurses" or whatever; i have much respect for their education/talent/abilities
    i agree.

    i've never understood why they can't be called veterinary nurses, and i don't give a rip about the legal/copyrighted term etc. their associates degree is almost identical to the adn. they do admitting, pre-op, or tech, recovery etc. on several different species. it is amazing to me that one tech does so much for such little pay and we begrudge them the title of nurse. i value the lives of animals as much as the lives of humans so i applaud the hard working, skilled techs.
    Last edit by Jules A on Feb 26, '07
  7. by   ann945n
    Does anyone know where this is possible written that the term nurse is protect? any link to a web site showing that law? It would be interesting to see if it was real
  8. by   hogan4736
    Quote from Fuzzy
    My understanding was that only people who were RN's or LPN's could use the title nurse. Am I wrong?
    we really shouldn't care...

    should your BON waste its time on this, or stomp out real problems like impaired nurses, shortages, and understaffing...


    please...

    who cares...
  9. by   hogan4736
    Quote from burn out
    I would ventrure to guess that Banfield has not been found out yet by the ANA..maybe they need reported.
    please find an actual problem to report to your BON...
  10. by   CritterLover
    Quote from ann945n
    does anyone know where this is possible written that the term nurse is protect? any link to a web site showing that law? it would be interesting to see if it was real

    it is written into most, if not all, nurse practice acts
  11. by   Larry77
    I'm never going to get back the five minutes I spent reading this thread...
  12. by   HillaryC
    Quote from hogan4736
    we really shouldn't care...

    should your BON waste its time on this, or stomp out real problems like impaired nurses, shortages, and understaffing...

    please...

    who cares...
    One of the reasons we care about the title nurse being protected is that there is a tremendous lack of understanding of what nurses do -- our training, education, and responsibilities. Although nurses are consistently ranked among the most ethical professionals, much of the general public doesn't understand how much we know and what we're responsible for. Many people get their impressions of nurses from TV, where nurses are either absent altogether or told what to do by physicians. A lot of people really think that we wouldn't know what to do if not for "doctor's orders". Every time an aide, tech, or medical assistant says they're a nurse, they're representing us to the public. I've read countless stories on this website of people giving out bad and often dangerous information, purporting to be nurses. If we want to really fix the problems of impaired nurses, understaffing, and shortages, we need to first gain respect as a profession. I believe that the way we're treated by patients, their families, and (some) physicians is a big contributor to understaffing and shortages. The shortage is largely about nurses leaving the bedside because they can't put up with crappy conditions any longer. Something like 19% of licensed RNs aren't working in nursing. The public may say we're caring and ethical, but many of them don't truly respect us as knowledgeable, skilled professionals. This lack of respect on the part of the general public and also hospital administrators translates to poor working conditions, which is the root of the shortage. It really disappoints me to see so many nurses don't get the importance of protecting our profession's image and our title.
  13. by   Jules A
    Quote from HillaryC
    It really disappoints me to see so many nurses don't get the importance of protecting our profession's image and our title.

    I don't think this has anything to do with CNAs etc. saying they are nurses which I truly don't think is as common as people seem to worry about but again its apples and oranges, imo.

    While I agree that we need to protect our profession's image I don't see why we would be so concerned about other licensed professionals with comparable education and duties wanting to be called veterinary nurses. I find it hard to believe that people would confuse a "vet nurse" with a "nurse".
  14. by   HillaryC
    Quote from Jules A
    I don't think this has anything to do with CNAs etc. saying they are nurses which I truly don't think is as common as people seem to worry about but again its apples and oranges, imo.

    While I agree that we need to protect our profession's image I don't see why we would be so concerned about other licensed professionals with comparable education and duties wanting to be called veterinary nurses. I find it hard to believe that people would confuse a "vet nurse" with a "nurse".
    I'm not sure I would mind if it was really just the educated and licensed/certified veterinary technicians we were talking about, though I wonder why vet techs wouldn't want to use their hard-earned title. Banfield was not recruiting just the educated veterinary technicians, but just about anyone. I read a long thread about this issue a while back; it seems that vet hospitals are too cheap to pay $15/hr for educated and licensed/certified vet techs, so they'd rather hire someone off the street and give them on the job training, in this case calling them a pet nurse.

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