By BIANCA KAPTEYN
In a ground-breaking effort to emphasize the indispensable contributions of veterinary nurses and techniques, the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), in collaboration with VCA Animal Hospitals, has unveiled a pioneering international marketing campaign known as “Trust Your Vet Tech.” The initiative aims to raise awareness and garner support for the life-saving role played by veterinary nurses and technicians in animal healthcare, fostering a deeper understanding of their capabilities and expertise. This campaign, launched during National Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week of October 16, builds upon NAVC’s Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Campaign initiated in 2021, to elevate and advance their role within the veterinary profession.
The Perception Gap: Understanding the Challenge
Despite possessing education and skills akin to registered nurses in human-based medicine, a significant perception exists among companion pet caregivers regarding the roles and responsibilities of credentialed veterinary nurses and technicians.
A nationwide NAVC survey revealed 47% of U.S. (pet caregivers) are unaware of the extensive spectrum of care these professionals provide – which extends from preventive medicine to lifesaving and emergency care for animals of all types.
Instead, there’s a common misunderstanding that their duties revolve around menial tasks such as cleaning cages, waste removal, feeding, or grooming – duties generally performed by less experienced and non-credentialed staff. Astonishingly, 63% of animal caregivers do not recognize that credentialed veterinary nurses/techs are equivalent to registered nurses in the realm of animal healthcare.
Campaign Goals: Bringing the Knowledge Gap
Gene O’Neill, NAVC’s CEO explains the campaign’s intent: “Through this campaign, the NAVC intends to change perceptions among pet owners, so they feel more confident having a qualified, credentialed veterinary nurse/technician care for their pets, using their full range of skills and education. We will also focus on educating practice team members, so they rely more on these critical members of the team to perform at their full capacity. This will benefit pets, pet owners, and veterinary practices.”
A key element of this campaign includes a downloadable “Toolkit for Change” which serves as a resource to educate clients and practice team members about the indispensable role of veterinary nurses and technicians. It includes posters, social media posts, email graphics, and dedicated landing page for pet caregivers (pet parents) to access valuable information.
The “Trust Your Vet” campaign is set to be transformative initiative that not only celebrates the remarkable work of veterinary nurses and technicians, but also works toward rectifying misconceptions about their roles, ultimately benefiting animals, companion animal givers, and the entire veterinary community. This campaign serves as a reminder of the critical contributions these professionals make to the health and well-being of our beloved animal companions.