Global Desk - Technicians in Crisis

The veterinary technician profession has come a long way in the United States and across the globe. Along with the shared successes come shared challenges.

To help overcome these challenges and continue raising the standard of veterinary nurses and technicians across the globe, the International Veterinary Nurses and Technicians Association (IVNTA) works to build communication and cooperation among technicians around the world. (The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America was a co-founder of IVNTA, and the United States remains a permanent member of IVNTA.)

One contrast among countries that's immediately evident is the requirement for training and credentialing. This is not surprising considering the United States hasn't yet created national credentialing standards. (Read a Bowman Report commentary from Erin Spencer, MEd, CVT, VTS (ECC), who believes the time is right for the U.S. to standardize credentialing in every state.) Despite this contrast, veterinary technicians are united internationally by their increasing role in veterinary medicine.

Unfortunately, they're also united by low pay, high burnout and underutilization. The good news: with organizations including the IVNTA and NAVTA working together, these challenges will be reversed.

For more information, take a look at how a few countries compare on veterinary technician standards and issues. (Source: IVNTA)

Country Title Regulation Scope of practice Specialization opportunities Challenges
Ireland Veterinary nurse Legally regulated at a national level


  • Diagnosing
  • Prescribing
  • Performing surgery involving entry into a body cavity

Some duties require the direction or supervision of a veterinary practitioner

New Zealand Veterinary nurse or veterinary technician Not currently regulated


  • Diagnosing
  • Prescribing
  • Performing surgery

Lack of regulation

(Efforts are being made to address this.)

United Kingdom Veterinary nurse Legally regulated at a national level

Can perform medical treatment and minor surgery not involving entry into a body cavity

(The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons created a checklist poster to help veterinarians understand how to delegate to veterinary nurses.)

Diplomas in advanced veterinary nursing
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