In the early 1990s a group of veterinary professionals with an interest in anesthesia formed a society dedicated to improving the quality of anesthesia care provided in veterinary medicine and to the advancement of veterinary technicians in the discipline of anesthesia. This society became known as the Veterinary Technician Anesthetist Society (VTAS). VTAS consisted of veterinary technicians from across the nation that were employed in educational, research, specialty referral and private practice. Members of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists
were involved in the society and supported its endeavors. With the size and diversity of the VTAS membership, it was clear there was a strong desire for specialty certification in the veterinary technician environment throughout the nation.
In 1996, VTAS petitioned the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America - Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (NAVTA-CVTS) for recognition as a certifying body of veterinary technician specialists in anesthesia. The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists (AVTA) was formed separate from VTAS and would be responsible for the development of examination and certification standards, prerequisite experience, skills and a process by which certification of veterinary technicians as specialists in anesthesia would be achieved. This academy would consist solely of veterinary technicians who met or exceeded the acceptance requirements of the academy. The AVTA Organizing Committee (OC) was formed in an effort to develop an organization that would be responsible for the certification of veterinary technicians as specialists in anesthesia.
In 1998, a petition was submitted to NAVTA-CVTS requesting recognition of the AVTA by NAVTA as a certifying body for veterinary technician specialists in anesthesia (VTS (Anesthesia)). The AVTA was officially recognized by the NAVTA - CVTS in January 1999. The AVTA was the second organization to be recognized by NAVTA-CVTS. NAVTA representatives made an official presentation of a plaque to the AVTA at the Western Veterinary Conference in February. At the same meetings, AVTA held its first organizational meeting with several members of the eighteen member OC. Officers were elected and committees were formed. 1999 was dedicated to organizing the committees and developing a plan to reach our goal of certifying veterinary technicians by 2002. The OC was fortunate to include members of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians (AVECCT), the first veterinary technician specialty group, recognized by NAVTA. In 2000, we continued to develop, refine and then released the "AVTA Role Delineation Survey" which would be used to help determine the knowledge, skills and abilities that are used by veterinary technicians to provide anesthesia care. The results from this survey also demonstrated which agents, what equipment and what types of procedures are associated with anesthesia care provided by veterinary technicians. The survey was sent out to over 300 active members of VTAS throughout the nation on November 15, 2000. The data from this survey was used to produce a blueprint for the AVTA Certification Exam. Those results were also used in the development of an Advanced Anesthesia Skills Form used in the AVTA Application Packet.
was released to the public in October 2001. Approximately forty application packets were sent out to veterinary technicians by request to the AVTA Executive Secretary. Eleven completed applications were returned by the submission deadline date. In 2002 the Credentials Committee developed an electronic application packet. In 2003 the academy posted the application packet on its web-site to facilitate easier access for applicants. The Academy continues to evaluate applications each January and test new applicants in September of each year.