Veterinary Technician Specialties: Emergency and Critical Care
Veterinary technicians who wish to specialize in the area of emergency and critical care may apply for admission to the The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians.
The AVECCT was granted provisional recognition by NAVTA in January 1996, making it one of the oldest recognized vet tech specialties. The organization has put together a rigorous credentialing process that allows vet techs to distinguish themselves as superior providers of emergency and critical care. Those who are members of this elite group have demonstrated excellent emergency and critical care experience, leadership abilities, and contributions to the growth of the vet tech profession.
So what does emergency and critical care involve? Emergency Care designates action taken(assesment, treatment, and stabilization) in response to a patient with an urgent medical problem. Critical Care involves actions taken in response to a crisis. This typically involves the steps taken to treat a patient with with a life-threatening or potentially life-threatening illness or injury. Patients typically require in-depth and often constant monitoring, reassessment, and treatment.
Since 1996 the AVECCT has worked to promote advancement and high standards of practice for individuals involved in veterinary emergency and critical care nursing. They have successfully established education and experience prerequisites leading to certification as a Veterinary Technician Specialist (Emergency and Critical Care). The organization is also involved with encouraging cutting-edge research relating to this discipline, as well as promoting opportunities for continuing education.
Application Requirements – VTS (Emergency and Critical Care)
In order to be certified as a specialist, you must meet the rigorous application requirements and pass a credentialing exam.
- Applicants must be a graduate of an AVMA accredited veterinary technician school or legally credentialed to practice as a vet tech
- Candidates are encouraged to be a member of a local, state, provincial, or North American Veterinary Technician Association (NAVTA), and a member of the Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Society (VECCS)
- Must have three years full-time work experience (5,760 hours), in the field of veterinary emergency and critical care. This experience must be completed within 5 years prior to the application.
- Candidates must have completed a minimum of 25 hours of continuing education related to veterinary emergency and critical care, to be completed within 5 years prior to application submission.
- Applicants must complete the Advanced Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Nursing Skills Form. This form documents specific advanced-level emergency care and nursing skills that you have mastered.
- Applicants must organize a case record log consisting of relevant cases from January 1 – December 31 of the year preceding the submission. The case log must include 50 cases that reflect your nursing skills related to emergency cases and critical care patients.
- In addition to the 50 case logs, four detailed case reports should be recorded. These case reports must demonstrate your expertise in the nursing management of a variety of veterinary patients requiring emergency and critical care. These reports can overlap cases in your log, but should provide the best demonstration of your advanced-level skills.
- Candidates must obtain 2 letters of recommendation from either an AVECCT member, a Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Society Veterinarian or a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.
For more information on AVECCT credentialing requirements, you can visit the official website.