Writing an article on technician utilization isn’t easy; familiar frustrations begin to well up. Fighting for professional recognition within the veterinary community is tough enough, but technicians also have to respond to clients who ask, “Are you the vet?” or “Do you plan to become one someday?”
While technicians who work outside small animal general practices often find themselves highly utilized in areas such as laboratory animal medicine, emergency practice, and management, many others feel they are not working to their full potential. One survey found that 66% of technicians feel highly utilized in practice but that leaves 44% who feel undervalued.1 Should we be satisfied?
I think the preamble to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Policy on Veterinary Technology says it best: “The AVMA recognizes the value of veterinary technicians as an integral component of veterinary medicine and urges full utilization of veterinary technicians.”2
I urge not only the technician community but the entire veterinary community to consider this preamble. We all want to achieve one simple goal: for veterinary technicians to be allowed to perform their jobs to their fullest potential and to be led to excellence by peers and supervisors, including veterinarians.