The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, a non-profit group that represents and promotes the profession of veterinary technology, has created a specialty: the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians.
Amy Butzier, CVT, chairwoman of the association's Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties, said the surgical technician specialty caters to veterinary technicians who have specialized knowledge. The association's academies give veterinary technicians recognition for having advanced education, training and experience in an area of specialization.
The new academy offers a standardized path to help technicians qualify for a national exam to become a veterinary technician specialist, or VTS (Surgery). A 2009 survey of veterinary professionals found a need for technicians with advanced knowledge in many areas related to surgery.
Heidi Reuss-Lamky, president of the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians, said veterinary technicians play a key role in the care of perioperative veterinary patients. They must not only understand sophisticated soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures, she said, but must have advanced knowledge in areas such as anatomy and physiology, equipment/instrument care and maintenance, principles of asepsis, wound management and diagnostic imaging techniques.