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AVECCT's goal in certifying Veterinary Technicians is to assure the veterinary profession and the public that AVECCT certified technicians possess the knowledge and experience needed to work effectively in a well equipped and staffed emergency or critical care facility.
One of the primary means for assuring the public and the profession that AVECCT Veterinary Technician Specialist are highly qualified individuals is through our credentialing process. Some people feel that the credential requirements are tough and excessive. We admit, they are rigorous, however, they are not designed to be obstacles to prevent candidates from becoming specialty certified; they are intended to assure the public and the profession that specialty certified technicians are truly qualified.
The credential requirements are straight forward there are a few areas people need to be careful with, we will discuss only those requirements where we have seen problems in the past.
We have had many potential candidates state that they don't work in a emergency clinic, does that make them ineligible? The answer is no, you do not have to work in an emergency clinic or critical care facility to gain the necessary experience. You are required to have worked a minimum of 5760 hours in the last five years caring for emergency and critical care cases. So that everyone has the same understanding, we defined what an emergency is and what critical care means.
The definitions are:
a) Emergency Care - action taken in response to an emergency. The term implies emergency action directed toward the assessment, treatment, and stabilization of a patient with an urgent medical problem.
b) Critical Care - The care taken or required in a response to a crisis. In medicine, the treatment of a patient with a life threatening or potentially life threatening illness or injury whose condition is likely to change on a moment-to-moment or hour-to-hour basis. Such patients require intense and often constant monitoring, reassessment, and treatment.
In addition to the work experience requirement AVECCT will use these definitions to determine:
1. If your continuing education is related to emergency or critical care.
2. If the cases in the case log and case reports are emergency or critical care cases.
Keep careful documentation of CE attendance. You must provide AVECCT with information on the content of the continuing education. You may submit photocopies of the course description provided by the organization providing the CE as proof that the continuing education was related to emergency or critical care. The course description must include, at least, the organization, title, speaker, and date. A photocopy of a document provided by the organization or speaker that includes the number of hours of continuing education you received must be provided as proof of attendance.
In the past, some people have submitted the minimum number of cases for the case log and had their application rejected because one or more cases were not acceptable. It is recommended that more than 50 cases (up to a maximum of 75) be included in the log in the event the credentials committee determines that one or more cases do not meet the definition of emergency or critical care. The case selection should be varied.
With regards to the case reports, good case selection is important. Case reports will be rejected if the required format (font, length, margins, and spacing) is not followed. The patient outcome is not important in writing case reports. In other words, whether or not the patient lives or dies will not influence the committee. DO NOT submit more than 4 case reports.... any additional will not be read and is a waste of your time! Choose your best work!
Consider some of the following ways of demonstrating your knowledge and experience in your case reports:
1. Show how your observations, physical examination, history taking assisted the veterinarian with diagnosis.
2. Explain why an observation was important or why you asked a certain question while taking the history.
3. Describe the procedures you performed or assisted with. Explain why the procedure was performed.
4. Describe how you assisted the veterinarian in treating the patient.
5. Explain how you helped determine whether the patients treatment was being effective.
6. Explain how your observations and monitoring helped the veterinarian modify the patient's treatment.
7. Explain your role in planning the patient's care.
8. Discuss your knowledge of the disease process and how it related to your nursing care, ie. what were the potential complications or risk factors, how did you recognize them, what action did you take.