Dentistry and Anesthesiology Specialties

March/April/2003 California Veterinarian

Dental Technicians Granted Provisional Recognition

On Oct. 8, 2002, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America’s (NAVTA) Committee of Veterinary Technician Specialties approved the formation of its third technician specialty academy and granted provisional recognition to the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians (AVDT) as a technician specialty academy.

The purpose of certifying veterinary technician specialists is to support the rapidly advancing technology of veterinary medicine. Certifying veterinary dental technicians as technician specialists will help assure the veterinary profession and the consumer that AVDT-certified technicians possess the knowledge and experience to work effectively in a well-equipped dental department of a general care facility.

Quality assurance of entry-level technician specialists will be achieved through a mentoring program, including case logs, case reports, and extensive continuing education requirements, as well as by passing a qualifying written and practical examination.

Currently, the NAVTA Board of Directors conducts monthly electronic planning meetings to monitor the progress of its committees. It is finalizing the credentialing program, examination, creation of wet lab, and continuing education for applicants. The goal is to distribute the first credentials packages to applicants by June 2003. Full recognition will be approved, as with other technician specialty academies, after successful completion of the first examination, projected to be in 2005.

Certified/registered/licensed veterinary technicians interested in further information should contact the AVDT secretary, Sara L. Sharp, CVT at


Anesthesia Certification Packets Available

The first Veterinary Technician Specialists in Anesthesia (VTS (Anesthesia)) were admitted into the Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists (AVTA) in October 2002.

The AVTA certification process consists of two parts, the application and the examination. The process will be demanding and time consuming for the individuals submitting packets. The application will require proof of the length and depth of experience as a veterinary technician and in the practice of veterinary anesthesia. The application will also require proof of mastery of anesthesia skills and the amount of advanced training in anesthesia. Applicants must submit four case reports, which will provide insight on thought processes and challenging cases. Only candidates who have their applications approved by the AVTA Credentials Committee will be eligible to take the examination.

The eligibility requirements for the AVTA examination are:

  • Candidates must be credentialed to practice as a veterinary technician from a state or province or have graduated from an AVMA-approved technician program. You must provide proof that you are credentialed or have graduated from an approved program.
  • Candidates must have at least 6,000 hours (five years) experience working as a veterinary technician, with 75 percent (4,500 hours) of that time spent providing anesthesia care.
  • Candidates must complete an Advanced Anesthesia Skills form included in the application packet.
  • Candidates must have attended 40 hours of continuing education in anesthesia-related topics provided by a diplomate specialist (ACVA, ACVS, ACVECC, etc.) or VTS(Anesthesia). Proof of attendance is required.
  • Candidates must provide a letter of recommendation from an ACVA, ACVS, ACVECC diplomate, VTS(Anesthesia) or VTS (ECC). Candidates must also provide a letter of recommendation from their supervising veterinarian.
  • Candidates must produce a case log of at least 50 cases and author four in-depth case reports from their case log. These cases must include cases ranging from ASA Physical Status I to V.

Technicians who meet these eligibility requirements and would like to receive an application should request a packet in writing from the AVTA executive secretary. Requests or inquiries may be sent to: AVTA Executive Secretary, P.O. Box 426, Rossville, IN 46065. Or e-mail Include your name, address, phone number, and an e-mail address.

The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists was granted provisional recognition by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America in 1999. Applications to join the academy were made available to the public in October 2001. Completed applications were submitted to the AVTA in February 2002.

After the AVTA’s review of the applications, candidates were accepted to sit for the inaugural certification exam. The AVTA administered this exam to veterinary technicians from across the United States in October 2002. The exam was conducted during the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists meetings held in Orlando, Fla. Nine candidates passed the exam, resulting in admission into the academy, and they have been granted status as Veterinary Technician Specialists in Anesthesia (VTS (Anesthesia)).

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