21 May Opinion Article: Veterinary Technicians Are At War and No One Is Talking About It
Within veterinary medicine, there is a battle being waged in the trenches. Veterinary Technicians are in a fight for their careers – for respect and for fair wages. Credentialed technicians are battling for recognition and higher median salaries, all while managing patient loads, clients, DVMs and their outside lives.
Lack of title protection over existing credentialed terminology has led to unscrupulous people using titles they didn’t earn or that have been revoked due to unethical behavior. National and state organizations that are supposed to be supporting and promoting credentialed technicians are losing members or not engaging their membership. Corporate hospitals are hiring non-credentialed employees at lower wages. Technicians are being forced to work two, and sometimes three different jobs just to survive. Compassion fatigue and burnout are rampant and technicians are leaving the field more quickly than ever before. Suicide rates on veterinary medicine continue to rise. People are miserable.
What’s the solution? I wish I had a magic answer for that but the truth is, I don’t know. I do have some suggestions as to where to start. We need fresh voices. The way we’ve always done things clearly isn’t working anymore. The people who have always been in leadership positions need to take a moment and look around, and consider allowing new leaders to emerge. Times have changed. Hospitals have changed. People’s priorities have shifted. Discussions need to happen and those fresh voices need to be heard.
We can acknowledge that times have changed and move forward accordingly, or we can stay where we are, destroying our profession from within.
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