Thursday, April 5, 2012

An open letter to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)

My chosen profession is near and dear to my heart.  I worked hard to get into veterinary technology and make my way through school.  I worked hard to develop my skills and be the best veterinary technician that I could.  And I worked hard to pursue my passion and earn a living doing what I love..  I cannot say the same for my professional organization, however.  I do not feel that NAVTA is working hard for me.

Upon receiving an email in my inbox this morning from Andrea Ball, executive director of NAVTA, inquiring as to why I had not renewed my membership, I chose to share with her exactly WHY I did not renew:

Hello Andrea,
Thank you for the reminder email regarding my membership renewal.  However, I did not forget to renew my NAVTA membership.  Rather, I chose not to renew on the basis that the organization no longer fully represents my, nor my colleague’s, interests as a credentialed veterinary technician.  As previously stated by NAVTA:

“The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) is a non-profit association that represents and promotes the profession of Veterinary Technology. Incorporated in 1981, NAVTA is the national organization devoted exclusively to developing and enhancing the profession of veterinary technology, through education, advocacy and promotion within the industry and to the general public. NAVTA is committed to education, career growth and the advancement of its members.”

With the advent of the veterinary assistant training program and active pursuit of assistant members, NAVTA is no longer exclusively supporting the profession of veterinary technology.  In fact, NAVTA is diluting its support of the credentialed veterinary technician, and further muddying the waters with regard to defining the veterinary technology profession.

Please do not misinterpret my comments as disparaging to the development of veterinary assistant training programs.  On the contrary, I fully support the continued education of all members of the veterinary healthcare team.  I feel, though, that NAVTA’s involvement in this initiative was premature and, at best, not well thought out with regard to the overall image that NAVTA should portray.    I do not see the American Nurses Association training phlebotomists, or CNA’s.  These ancillary roles in human medicine have their own organizations. So why would NAVTA take on such a role? Certainly NAVTA could have been supportive of an initiative to develop a stand-alone veterinary assistant organization and training program, independent of NAVTA.

Veterinary technology as a whole is still a very young and quickly growing profession.  We are in need of close observation of national and international trends in our field, and careful development of programs to cultivate an environment in veterinary medicine where credentialed technicians are sought after.  To earn my support I need to see NAVTA stay true to the needs of, and be a strong advocate for, the credentialed veterinary technician.

Kindest regards,


Maggie Lump, BS, RVT
Indiana Veterinary Technician Association

Instructional Technologist
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Technology Program

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.  ~~Mark Twain

An open letter to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America

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