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History of Veterinary Technology

The Animal Science Technology Program was established at NOVA’s Loudoun Campus in 1975. The Program was awarded full accreditation by the Committee on Animal Technician Activities and Training (CATAT) of the American Veterinary Medical Association in the fall of 1980. The program name was changed three decades ago to Veterinary Technology. Beginning in the fall of 2002 the Veterinary Technology Program at NOVA’s Loudoun Campus began offering the Veterinary Technology degree program online, in addition to the traditional on-campus program. The online program achieved initial accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2004 and full accreditation in 2005. Combined, the two programs produce approximately 50 graduates per year.

Virginia veterinary technicians are represented regionally by the Virginia Association of Licensed Veterinary Technicians (VALVT).

The mission of the organization is to provide support to licensed veterinary technicians through continuing education and by serving as a professional voice for technicians throughout the state.

Veterinary technicians are represented nationally by National Association of Veterinary Technician in America (NAVTA).

Founded in 1981, the primary mission of the organization is to provide a means by which veterinary technicians can be involved in and provided input on national issues involving veterinary medicine. To better support the role of the veterinary technician in practice and to help define the job descriptions of the veterinary team, NAVTA created guidelines and a model curriculum for veterinary assistant programs.  The association launched a veterinary assistant program approval certification in 2010.

As the profession continues to evolve, NAVTA has met that need by creating the NAVTA Committee on Veterinary Technicians Specialties (CVTS).

This committee is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association as the accrediting body for veterinary technician specialties.  The CVTS has created guidelines for veterinary technician organizations to facilitate the formation of a specialty organization. These organizations are known as academies and each academy defines and develops the specific pathway (based on CVTS guidelines) that a candidate must complete in order to earn the designation Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) within that academy. There are currently 10 academies recognized by CVTS: dentistry, anesthesia, internal medicine, emergency/critical care, behavior, zoological medicine, equine, surgery, clinical practice and nutrition. In addition, four societies have been created for the advancement of specialty interest in veterinary technology: behavior, equine, zoological medicine and emergency/critical care.