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Frequently Asked Questions
Veterinary medicine has seen a rapid growth in knowledge and technology in the past several years. Technicians have worked along with veterinarians during this period of rapid growth and change. Like the veterinarian, it is difficult for the technician to keep abreast of all the changes that are occurring. Those technicians that work with a specialist (e.g. surgery, anesthesia, and emergency and critical care) find themselves being channeled into those areas of specialization. It would only seem natural to recognize those technicians who have achieved a broad base of advanced knowledge and skill in their area of specialization.
How will the technician benefit from certification in the AVTAA?
We hope that certification in this specialty will achieve wide recognition and enhance the self-esteem of veterinary technicians. We also want to promote consumer protection, professionalism, and excellence in anesthesia care. Some may question whether or not this will increase the pay for technicians, that's not for us to say. We did not do this with financial gain in mind. If a technician should receive a higher salary or obtain a position because of their certification we consider that an extra added benefit. Numerous opportunities exist for AVTAA members to publish articles or book chapters, speak at national and international veterinary conferences and provide in house continuing education to veterinary clinics.
How do I become a member?
Becoming a member requires a lot of hard but rewarding work. You will be required to submit your qualifications to the credentials committee. You must be a legally credentialed veterinary technician (veterinary nurse) in order to be eligible to apply. A credentialed technician is a person who legally holds an active license to practice as a veterinary technician in some state or province. In the USA, this requires passing both the VTNE (excluding CA prior to 2014) and state examinations (if applicable). International applicants must meet specific requirements set forth by each country. The first step is completing the pre-application process. This will verify your work experience and credentials. If approval is granted you are eligible to submit a complete application at the end of the year. The complete application requires you to maintain a case log for the year immediately prior to submission. In addition you will need to show proof of continuing education in anesthesia, documentary evidence of advanced competence in veterinary anesthesia skills and author four case reports that detail your advanced anesthesia knowledge and skill. If your complete application is accepted, you will then be eligible to sit for the certifying examination. Passing the exam will earn you the VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia) title.
What should I know about the application process?
The application process is very detailed. All instructions and requirements are explained in the application packet. Make sure you are following all instructions and requirements for the year you plan to apply. The application instructions and requirements are updated every year so small changes may occur without notice. Large changes to the application content will be announced well in advance of the change. This is a professional application and should be an example of your highest quality of work. You can have an AVTAA mentor assigned to assist you with the process but this is not a requirement.
What type of examination will be offered?
The examination is 200 multiple choice questions along with a separate written clinical competency exam. The candidate must attain a combined score of 75% or more to pass the examination.
What type of questions will be asked on the exam?
Topics to be covered on the examination are those that are crucial to anesthesia and analgesia and include topics that relate in some way to anesthetic care. Topics to be covered will include, but are not limited to: Anesthesia/Analgesia including pre, intra and post operative periods, Cardiovascular system, Respiratory system, Gastrointestinal procedures ( incl. hepatic, acute abdomen, pancreatitis, peritonitis), Urinary, Fluid/Electrolyte/Acid-Base, Endocrine/Metabolic, Neurologic, Musculoskeletal, Toxicology/Pharmacology, Reproductive, Ancillary diagnostic techniques will be included in each topic where appropriate. Anatomy and physiology, data collection/identification of problems will also be covered.
When will the next examination be offered?
The exam is offered yearly in September in conjunction with the IVECCS meeting.
How do I prepare for the examination?
Reading journal articles or books, and attending anesthesia CE is a good start.