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We’re not second class

In a distasteful attempt at a rebuttal, Mark Cushing’s response to Liz Hughston’s request to end the poorly performing title creep was demeaning, yet laughable at best.

Using belittling terms such as “misguided” and “simple” toward an individual who is more-so qualified than himself proves how little Cushing truly knows about what WE do and who WE are as veterinary technicians.

Cushing’s representation of our profession is mediocre and condescending to the members he proclaims to be fighting for throughout the legislative processes. It is becoming alarmingly apparent that he preys on members of our community who doubt their own voice, and he uses scare tactics to ensure that veterinary technicians remain submissive.

It’s high time we stop tolerating the opinions of those who intend to stifle us as a second-class profession. We deserve a qualified, humble lobbyist who respects those with differing opinions. Regardless of my stance on the Veterinary Nurse Initiative, I will not tolerate the disrespect detailed by his response. An attack on the intelligence of one of us is an attack on all of us. How do we come together in solidarity when we are being attacked for requesting transparency?

As passionate professionals, we demand a lobbyist who produces the results expected that equate to their level of compensation — one who has worked in the trenches of our profession and is not a mere spectator to our own efforts. To date, Cushing has successfully drained the veterinary community of the mere pennies we survive on in a poorly executed plan to pull the wool over our eyes.

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative is demanding that the nursing profession respect our profession’s pillaging of a title they spent decades protecting. Imagine if Cushing put a fraction of that same effort into protecting one of the four legal titles veterinary technicians currently are honored within the United States?

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative has some outstanding sponsors and great minds with immense passion behind their mission; there is no argument there. But it is apparent by his remarks that Cushing is not one of them.

We remain veterinary technicians in the United States until otherwise dictated by the law. Those of us who truly respect our profession, legal system and the nursing community choose to refrain from using an imaginary title until legally enacted.

Slandardization disguised as standardization is not the answer.

Nicole LaForest is president of the Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians and practice director at Mayo Veterinary Services in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. She holds an associate’s degree in veterinary technology and a bachelor’s degree in cognitive psychology and human health care management.