Technicians—Use Us, Or Lose Us




Technicians—Use Us, Or Lose UsTechnicians—Use Us, Or Lose UsThursday, Oct. 29, 2009By Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR10-29-2009

10/22/2009 - The Triangle of Care

10/16/2009 - The Ties That Bind

10/09/2009 - Playing Hopscotch with the Org Chart

A good friend of mine has been a credentialed veterinary technician since 1972. In her 37 years in this profession, she has seen a lot of changes and some things that have not changed.

We had lunch the other day and stumbled upon a common topic of conversation for two veterinary technicians: fully utilizing technicians in the veterinary practice. She was clearly frustrated because this topic is just as much a part of the profession’s conversation now as it was when she graduated; it replays like a broken record.

That is not to say that there haven’t been improvements, and certainly there are veterinarians and practices out there that believe in using their technicians’ abilities to the maximum. But what about the others?

If you are still having this conversation with your colleagues or co-workers but haven’t had the talk with the veterinarians and practice owners, then you are not having the right conversations. Sure, you can commiserate with your friends and co-workers, but will that really make change happen in your practice? Probably not.

If you feel underutilized where you work now, answer these questions to see what you need to do next.

  • Do you know if there are regulations in your state allowing ONLY credentialed technicians to perform certain tasks in the veterinary practice?
    .
    This is the first thing you must do; find out where the law stands on this issue. This can either help or hurt your cause, you need to know.
    .
  • Do you know if the practice owners or managers KNOW these regulations?
    .
    If you’re not certain, then it’s time that you had this conversation with them and discuss your state’s rules and regulations. 
    .
  • Do you know if the practice owners or managers KNOW the basics of what you learned in school or on the job to qualify to become a credentialed technician?
    .
    It is wrong to assume that they know HOW to utilize your skills, or even what skills you possess. Do not assume that they KNOW what you are capable of, yet are consciously deciding NOT to use you!
    .
  • What would be the most effective way of teaching them your skills, abilities, and knowledge?
    .
    Perhaps you can demonstrate what your educational program covered by showing them your textbooks and discussing the different courses. Perhaps you can obtain course descriptions from the educational institution to give to your practice owner. If your state offers credentialing without education, then show them what prerequisites you met and how you had to prepare yourself to become credentialed.
    .
  • If your practice owners or management team isn’t willing or able to use your skills as you desire, are you prepared to find other employment?
    .
    This is certainly a difficult question to ask yourself, yet you must. You are right to stand firm on what you can offer a practice, and live up to your expectations. If they won’t use you, are you ready for them to lose you?
A good friend of mine has been a credentialed veterinary technician since 1972. In her 37 years in this profession, she has seen a lot of changes and some things that have not changed.A good friend of mine has been a credentialed veterinary technician since 1972. In her 37 years in this profession, she has seen a lot of changes and some things that have not changed.technicians, veterinary technicians, veterinarians, practice owners