OAVT response to the strains on human resources in veterinary medicine
(April 16, 2021)
The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians supports the work of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO), the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) in their efforts to help address the shortage of veterinarians, and other essential members of the veterinary care team, in Ontario.
The OAVT continues to advocate for Registered Veterinary Technicians with prospective employers to improve the workplace culture and total compensation packages to extend the RVTs commitment to the profession. Furthermore, the full and appropriate utilization of RVTs is paramount – this includes supporting RVTs as they grow and develop as professionals.
Legislative reform remains a priority for the OAVT. Current advocacy efforts include collaboration between the OAVT, the OVMA and the CVO towards modernizing the regulation of veterinary medicine in Ontario by amending the current Veterinarians Act. These legislative changes would help alleviate the existing shortage by recognizing Registered Veterinary Technicians within the Act, and allowing RVTs to fully utilize their education and training in the provision of veterinary care.
This year the OAVT has been active in promoting RVT utilization in the following ways:
- Annual wage and compensation survey
- Member focused webinars including mental health and advocating for your wages
- Monthly RVT Career Spotlights exploring varied career paths
- Collaborate with RVTTC on their Career Ladder project
- Letter to professional veterinary associations regarding student placement as stepping stone to employment as an RVT
- Participate in conversations with the CVO in support of RVT utilization via practice standards and public consultations
- Improved job posting on our website with featured ads and ease of use
- Collaborate and draft proposals with stakeholders to assist in placing RVTs in northern and rural communities
- Explore RVT Practitioner model on a National level
- RVT Advancement Fund to financially support RVTs in education opportunities to further their careers
- Co-host free RVT continuing education sessions with Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners
- Support upcoming research on frontline veterinary workers and emphasized a need for specific focus on RVTs within the research project.
- Participate in RVT Month
- RVT Journal articles, resources and conference content focused on RVT career paths
- Participate in the CVO discussions on forms of energy to ensure an RVT voice is at the table
- Consult on the CVO Euthanasia Standard document stressing the importance of retaining the ability for a veterinarian to delegate to an RVT
- Telehealth one pager, panel discussion and soon to be released guidebook for RVTs
The OAVT is looking forward to developing more opportunities for collaboration with the CVO and the OVMA to improve the field of veterinary medicine for all team members.