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Veterinary Technician Shortage: Do I stay or do I go?


zuki2004 1 / -  
Jan 31, 2019   #1
Please provide Peer Review of my below essay for ENG102
I am looking for all feedback, but feel I typically can use help in grammar and mechanics, thesis development and flow, any and all comment/suggestions would be welcome.

Thank you in advanced for your time and effort

Veterinary Medicine and Job Market



Brandeice Garza
English 102 - 30652
James Palazzolo

Veterinary medicine has grown more over the last 50 years as it has since it has transitioned form horses to farm animals to pets. Prior to the automobile the primary role Veterinarians had was to care for horses. As use of the horse drawn carriage declined Veterinary care focused on Farm Animals. As standards of living increased, so did the publics desire for companion animals. In 1957 the British Small Animal Veterinary Association was formed and a standard of practice focused on companion animals developed. The veterinary field did not originally have the veterinary technician role; many veterinarians would practice alone taking on the role doctor and technician. In 1965 federal funding was approved to create a model of formalized training of the animal technicians; only a doctor of veterinary medicine was able to use the term "veterinary" in their title. It wasn't until the 1990's when the role of the technician began to gain momentum, many veterinarians hired and trained their own help, and licensing was not required. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) first began to recognize the role the technician brought to companion animal care and replaced the term "animal technician" with "veterinary technician." With the AVMA restructuring the technician training and licensing accredited programs grew and the veterinary technician population grew, by 2007 the United States had more than 144 accredited schools of veterinary technology. Standards of care for companion animals have continued to grow and change and the need for better skilled technicians has increased. Veterinary medicine has grown from a single practice doctor for all your pets to a multi-specialty field where one can have their pet cared for by an array of specialists from primary care, internal medicine, surgery, neurology, ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology, to emergency and critical care; all with specialty technicians for added support. So with this exponential growth, why are technicians choosing to change careers after 10+ years in the field? The current climate of veterinary medicine for the technician leaves a lot to be addressed; veterinary technicians often feel their specialized skills are under appreciated, their pay is on average 50% less than a nurse in human medicine, and the significant amount of stress associated with the job places a heavy load on the technicians work/life balance.

Today's veterinary technicians perform a wide variety of tasks requiring a vast knowledge of multiple species with a precise skill set. Nursing requirements range form basic care to emergency and intensive critical care. Many start as kennel help, entering the field for a love of animals and a desire to help. As the role of the kennel assistant is nurtured the individual is often trained "on the job" and many never go through an accredited program, practicing as a technician without licensing. Throughout years of training basic nursing skills develop into the broad knowledge and precise skill set required to be a qualified technician. Not only is a veterinary technician perform a job similar to a nurse, but they also learn to be a radiology technician, a phlebotomist, an anesthetist, a grief counselor, a customer service representative, a financial advisor, and most importantly an advocate for the pet. As rewarding as the job of a veterinary technician can be, it can also be overwhelming. Many clients do not understand the level of training and care a technician provides for their pets, this transcends to a common thought that technicians are glorified kennel help. While many organizations such as NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) have made great strides to change the climate surrounding the veterinary technician, public knowledge continues to not fully grasp the importance of the role the veterinary technician plays. One current agenda NAVTA is pushing is the Veterinary Nurse Initiative Coalition, which strives to change legislation in all 50 states with a goal to establish the credential of registered veterinary nurse; this is a push to unify the title of the technician to one the general public can more easily understand. Currently titles associated with the veterinary technician are RVT (registered veterinary technician), LVT (Licensed Veterinary Technician), and CVT (Certified Veterinary Technician), all three of which are the same with the only difference being which state they are issued in. Each state has their own legislation with varying requirements. All three require at least an associates degree in veterinary technology from an accredited school, and passing of the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) while some, yet not all, states require an additional state exam. "Through standardization and public awareness of the registered veterinary nurse credential, the entire profession will make significant strides towards better recognition, mobility, and elevated practice standards," Kara M Burns, president elect of NAVTA. This initiative while truly in its infancy, shows promise in bringing the awareness and respect veterinary technicians are striving for.

Another concern the veterinary technician faces is pay that is comparable to the quality of service that is provided. Currently technician salaries fall well below those of registered nurses. With the lack of nationwide consistency in technician legislation private practice veterinary clinics can hire unlicensed staff and train them to perform the same tasks as a licensed veterinary technician. The private practice owner thus can hire whomever they chose to perform the same tasks as a licensed technician. The wide variety of skill set along with ability of veterinary practice managers to hire non licensed assistants to provide the same care, all though less skilled devalues those technicians who take the time to invest in themselves and obtain the credentials. Technician salaries range as low as minimum wage to only slightly more when credentialed. A registered nurse on the other hand typically have a starting salary of two to three times that of minimum wage with significant increases once a nurse gains experience or acquires specialized training. This leads to a gross misunderstanding of who the veterinary technician is, public perception then fails to recognize the technician as a skilled professional. I for one would not be comfortable with the level of care an unlicensed medical assistant would be capable of providing for my child or myself. Until standards are set one cannot expect the public to fully appreciate the level of care a veterinary technician can provide when unlicensed individuals are allowed to perform the same tasks as a licensed technician.

Finally public perception is the veterinary technician plays with puppies and kittens every day, and nothing could be further from the truth. While there are certainly brief moments where the day in the life of a veterinary technician may be graced with warm puppy breath or a kitten nuzzle and a purr, the majority of our day is filled with a real struggle to find a balance between work and life. The practice of quality medicine is expensive, and veterinary medicine is no exception. Human medicine is backed by health insurance costing American families upwards of $15,000/year. Most pay monthly for their health insurance, with the premium deducted from their paycheck prior to it ever reaching their bank account. This clouds perception when cost of medical care is considered, visiting the human doctor or ER one only pays a co pay. Veterinary medical care on the other hand requires payment of services up front, while less than comparable services in human medicine can often still be a financial burden for pet owners. This financial stress is often taken out on the veterinary technician, where they now must take on the role of financial advisor or take the verbal abuse of being accused they only care about money and are forcing to pet owner to allow their pet to suffer. Technicians often see these very complicated cases where owners are unable to afford cost of treatment, and owners are then forced to humanely euthanatize their pet to alleviate suffering. Technicians then quickly switch gears, trying not to take the previous accusations of not caring for the pet personally being empathetic with the pet owner and assisting them make one of the hardest decisions of the pet owners life while they say goodbye to their companion. This process is carried out every day, often with a "bare bone" staff while working 10+ hours daily. Technicians rarely get scheduled lunch/dinner breaks eating on the fly, and staying hours after their scheduled time to treat the emergency that walked through the door just before closing. The incredible load the veterinary technician carries often leads to burnout and compassion fatigue interfering with any type of quality in balance of work and life the technician has.

With focus on retention the veterinary field must strive to change the current trends so it can keep their skilled and seasoned technicians while continuing to grow and develop new talent. The previously mentioned NAVTA initiative is one step in changing the climate nationally, standardizing legislation and requiring all 50 states to participate in required technician certification. Changing the registered/licensed/certified veterinary technicians name to Registered Veterinary Nurse will increase public perception and begin to push the population in the direction needed to gain the momentum necessary in recognizing the difficult job a veterinary technician performs. Once practice managers in private veterinary practice are required to hire only credentialed veterinary professionals, value will be added to the role of the veterinary technician and pay structure will begin to reflect the very specialized skill set a technician possesses. While veterinary medicine is always going to be expensive, changing the climate with appropriate veterinary technician recognition and public education of the improved standards of care provided for companion animals, pet owners perception of value will being to be comparable and they will be more willing to pay the cost associated with the high quality of care provided for their pet. Additionally cost of certification needs to be restructured so it is affordable and attainable to a wider talent audience. Currently, a two-year accredited veterinary technology program can cost upwards of $30,000. Average salary for a newly graduated registered/licensed/certified technician is $24,000/year. A comparable two-year accredited nursing program costs $5000 - $8000, with a newly graduated RN starting salary of $65,000 - $70,000. Its no wonder technicians are going back to school to become nurses. Finally once veterinary medicine is able to change public perception of what a veterinary technicians role is and respect is comparable to that of a human nurse pay should begin to be more comparable. I do not expect veterinary technicians to ever be on the same level, but at this point technicians have no where to go but up. As pay increases, quality of care will increase and the technician work/life balance will even out.

Veterinary medicine is an incredible field to be a part of; the majority of veterinary technicians do not begin a career with high hopes of making triple figures. Technicians choose this career path for the love of animals, veterinary medicine is often extremely rewarding with the availability to make a real difference in not only the pets life but the owners as well. The growth experienced of the last 50 years has transitioned form basic farm animal care to specialty care facilities. As a Certified Veterinary Technician with over 15 years experience, the last 5 of which have been at an emergency 24 hour facility I have personally experienced the highs and lows of the job. I have personally watched the field transition form a primary care veterinarian handle the wide variety of pets needs to the development of highly specialized facilities. I currently regularly work 15-hour shifts, well into the overnight hours pouring my heart into other peoples pets. Some nights I drive home in tears thinking about the patients I lost, and then I will get the case that sustains me. The one that makes up for long nights away from my family, missing tucking in my daughter at night; all worth it. The one that lived because of the care I gave, my heart melts, these are the reasons I stay. I certainly understand why some choose to move on, I stay in hopes the trend continues and the pay finally catches up to my skill.

Work Cited:

Todd, Zazie. "The surprising history of veterinary medicine for dogs and cats." Pacific Standard, Social Justice.

Bassert, Beal, Samples. McCurin's Clinical textbook for Veterinary Technicians, Ninth Edition. Saunders.

Larkin, Malinda. "NAVTA ready to start veterinary nurse effort." AVMA.

Ken Yagi, BS, RVT, VTS (ECC SIAM). "Why I don't want to be a 'Technician'." Dr. Andy Roark.

No Author. "A Nurse by any other name: What is a Veterinary Technician?" Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.

No Author. "Registered Nurse Salary & Career Outlook." Nurse Journal, Social Community for Nurses Worldwide.

No Author. "Vet tech Salary Information for 2017." VetTechs. Vet tech jobs, schools, & salary. vettechs.com/salary. (2019.)

Holt - / 7,527 2001  
Feb 1, 2019   #2
The immediate problem that can be seen in this research paper is the lack of in-text citations and proper quotes as taken from the sources in your MLA work cited listing. For every source that you have listed, a proper reference to the actual information taken from that source must be indicated within the research paper itself. A research paper that has a list of sources but no properly cited text will be in high risk of being flagged for plagiarism, which means your research paper could either get a failing grade or, you will come up on charges of academic dishonesty at your university. You will have to revise the paper to properly reflect which parts are paraphrased from an original source, personal opinions that are influenced by other writer's opinions, or direct citations worked into the paper itself. In the case of the latter, you will have to follow the proper MLA in-text citation formats. It will be impossible for you to submit this paper without the proper referencing required. It is a potential bomb that could blow-up in your face because of the lack of properly cited sources.

Your title is "Do I Stay or Do I Go?", yet there is no indication of this pondering within your thesis statement. In fact, there is no clear thesis statement in the first paragraph of the essay. You have a question indicating a question about career change, but it is not formatted in the manner that a research paper thesis must be presented. Therefore, there is no true thesis statement within the research presentation.

The research itself is confusing because you are making comparisons between human care and animal care, nurses, and vet nurses. Insurance vs. no insurance. The relevance is lost in the confusing presentation. It would be best if you drop the human nurse discussion and focus only on the animal care nurse cause. After all, that is what the research is all about.

The overall presentation tends to jump around and take bits and pieces of discussion from various talking points. None of which are properly transitioned and developed in a manner that makes the discussion clearer to the reader. I strongly urge you to go back to Step 1 by doing an outline of your thesis statement and discussion points. That way you will be creating an informative, authoritative, properly cited, and clear discussion of the topic you set out in your title. At the moment, the paper feels more like a directionless draft than a draft with a purpose.


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