Have you ever wondered who the person is that starts your pet’s veterinary appointment? Have you looked at their credentials and wondered what LVT means? LVT stands for Licensed Veterinary Technician. Our five veterinary technicians at Schmitt’s Animal Hospital are a crucial part of your veterinary team and are responsible for so many things. Technicians share many similarities in skills and training to their nurse counterpart in human medicine. In fact, there’s been discussion about standardizing the title from LVT, RVT (registered vet tech), and CVT (certified vet tech) to Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN).
LVTs graduate from an AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) accredited veterinary technology program and have either an associates or bachelors degree. They must also pass a state board examination to receive their licensing and must complete a certain number of hours of continuing education each year to keep that license. Licensed veterinary technicians are taught veterinary medicine for a variety of species including dogs, cats, horses, cows, sheep and lab animals.
So what exactly do our LVTs do? There are only a few things they can’t do: diagnose, prescribe medications, and perform surgery. The many things they can do are:
Another level of LVT is a veterinary technician specialist (VTS), such as our very own Sarah DeYoung. There are currently 16 areas where technicians can specialize in their area of expertise. They include:
Veterinary technician specialists have to complete an extensive process to achieve this high standard of recognition. On average they must have worked in their field for at least five years and have worked at least 10,000 hours, complete over forty hours of continuing education in their area, master over 100 advanced skills, submit a large number of case logs and reports demonstrating their advanced knowledge and skills, and have letters of recommendation submitted by a veterinarian and a board certified veterinarian. If they pass this rigorous process, they must then pass a comprehensive examination to achieve the credentials LVT, VTS.
So the next time you come in for an appointment, you’ll have a better understanding of what your veterinary technician can do to help your beloved pet live a happy, healthy life with you.
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4268 Three Mile NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
After hour emergency services are available to clients of record until 10:00 pm. Our main line will direct to the doctor on call.