Dear Dean Meurs,
NAVTA is aware of the social media stir that arose when word was spreading that the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Hospital was not celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week (NVTW) due to it being “not inclusive.” (Click HERE to read the original Statement from the NCAVT Executive Board)
As I am sure you are aware, NVTW was created 30 years ago when it was apparent that the education, skills, and work responsibilities of Veterinary Technicians were vastly unknown and greatly under-appreciated by pet owners and veterinary professionals alike. NVTW was set aside as a special time for hospitals, clinics, schools, and companies to recognize Veterinary Technicians, just as many members of the medical community are recognized during specific days or weeks that reflect acknowledgment of their daily contributions. For example, earlier this year, NAVTA announced that the third Wednesday of May each year will be designated as National Veterinary Assistant Day to honor this group of Veterinary professionals.
NAVTA appreciates that NCSU included Veterinary Technicians in its “employee appreciation week,” but we are disappointed that NCSU decided not to celebrate Veterinary Technicians during NVTW, the special time set aside for these under-appreciated and extremely valuable team members.
Phillip E. Russo, CAE
National Association of Veterinary Technicians
In America (NAVTA)
750 US Highway 202 South, Suite 200
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Shortly after the above message was sent, NAVTA received the following response from Dean Meurs:
Dear Mr. Russo,
I am so sorry you were given the impression that we were not celebrating our veterinary technicians. Our veterinary technicians are an extremely important and valued part of our community and we did thank them and acknowledge Veterinary Technician Week within the hospital.
We do have a large college community including over 1,400 people that work and train at our college and we are always looking for ways to make our community inclusive so that everyone has a sense of belonging and fully understands how valued they are. Given the very large number of different career tracks for our college staff it is not possible to have a week-long event for every individual position. Therefore we created a staff led committee (including 3 individuals involved with our animal nursing programs ) and asked them to provide input on opportunities to thank our entire community.
At their suggestion we are now having quarterly appreciation events including a week-long event which was held last week to thank our entire community. The committee carefully debated holding this week long event during veterinary technician week but decided that it would be better to hold it the following week. We did encourage the veterinary technician supervisors to have smaller celebrations for veterinary technician within their units and the hospital administrator sent out announcements about it being Veterinary Technician Week and thanking the technicians on his weekly newsletter. However, the College wide celebration was held the week following.
During our college appreciation week we did request feedback and the staff committee will be meeting soon to look for ways to improve it for next year. At that time they may choose to have the appreciation week the same week as veterinary technician week but we will look for their input on what is the best way to ensure that everyone feels appreciated for their value– we are a very large college with many missions and every job is greatly valued!!
Thank you again for your interest and I regret the confusion
Kathryn M. Meurs, DVM,PhD, Dip ACVIM (Cardiology)
Randall B. Terry, Jr. Dean
Distinguished Professor in Comparative Medicine
North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607