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Veterinary Technician Vs. Veterinary Nurse: What do you want to be called?

Jada Lewis, CVT Jun 11, 2015 4:29:55 PM Vet Tech

doctorIn North America there is great to debate on whether it is appropriate to use the word ‘nurse’ to describe a veterinary technician. The term ‘veterinary technician’ has been used since the late 1980’s, but it seems as though there is a desire to also insinuate that technicians can be interchangeably called nurses. The debate boils down to legal issues and preference.

Legally, in most states you cannot call yourself a nurse unless you have a license appointing you of this title. So there’s that.

If the legality of the issue is not bothersome, then some people seem to have a problem with the word nurse altogether.

The general public will have a very good understanding of your position in a veterinary clinic if you describe yourself as a veterinary or animal nurse. However, many techs would say that their job is comprised of so many more technical skills. For example, we are pharmacy technicians, x-ray technicians, laboratory technician, surgical technician, etc.

I think if it comes down to opinion, would you rather the general public have a better understanding of the work you do or would you rather your job title describe all of your capabilities, even if the title doesn’t sound too appealing?

Don't get me wrong, I respect human nurses- after all, they deal with people stuff (a thought that churns 99% of vet techs' stomachs), but let’s face it, veterinary technicians have 10x the skills for at least 5x the species. We deserve a more appropriate name.

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Honestly, I think we should have a 3rd choice! However, I am not sure what the name would look like.

Maybe veterinary superhero? Because I am pretty sure that how we all feel.

I want to hear them! What would you call yourself instead of tech or nurse? Is there a third, more appropriate option?

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