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October 16–22 is National Veterinary Technician Week within the United States. Every year since 1993, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has dedicated the third week of October to honoring Vet Tech professionals. This week of observance helps to shine a light on the value of Vet Techs to the veterinary industry and their essential role in day-to-day clinical operations. Here are some great ways to celebrate the Vet Techs in your clinic and show them appreciation.

1. Fun and Practical Gifts

Give your employees a practical gift that points to their achievements. Consider customizing fun items like a tote or to-go mug with veterinary-themed graphics (e.g., paw prints, their favorite animal, “We ♥️ Vet Techs”, and more). Create fun decals or stickers that can go on water bottles or car bumpers. Surprise your team members with personalized stethoscope tags. If you really want to wow them, consider gifting Nurse Pro Packs—a Vet Tech favorite—or engraved bandage scissors.

2. Catered Lunches

Vet Techs are often in a hurry and tend to eat when they can and where they can. For them, bagels, pizza, sweets, and other treats are convenient, but not nutritious. Vet Techs truly appreciate (and need) well-rounded meals. Order catered lunches for the week or a day, depending on your budget. Let your team members pick out what they want. If getting your team together for a meal is too challenging, stock a snack fridge or cabinet with fortifying foods like healthy drinks, protein bars, fresh fruit, snack cups, and more. 

3. Branded Apparel

Give your Vet Techs branded scrub sets, T-shirts, or jackets. Jackets, for example, make wonderful gifts and can be worn inside or outside of the clinic year-round. You can even personalize the jackets with your hospital logo/branding and your team members’ names. 

4. Comped License Renewal Fees

There is no better way to show your Vet Techs and those aspiring to get credentialed that their hard work, expertise, and professional success is respected, than by covering license renewal fees. Also, don’t forget about your valued veterinary assistants. Offer to cover their Veterinary Assistant Controlled Substances Permit (VACSP) fees as well.

5. Mental Health Resources

Burnout is a major problem in healthcare, and we know Vet Techs are especially prone to it due to compassion fatigue, the physical nature of their work, low pay, and additional aspects that affect morale. People need an outlet, and your employees are no exception. Help prevent workplace burnout and offer your employees a subscription to Talkspace, Headspace, or a mental health and wellbeing app like Calm. 

6. Coffee

Healthcare professionals love their coffee—a little too much! While most clinics offer 24/7 access to free coffee, treat your employees to premium coffee for the week. That’s right, get a single-origin brew or something tasty from the local coffee shop. Don’t forget to offer decaf or tea to the non-coffee drinkers. If your clinic is on the smaller side, opt for gift cards to the local coffee shop instead.

7. Team-Building Activities

Team-building activities are an excellent way to acknowledge your team members. Collective activities help teams bond and destress. Schedule a half-day wellness retreat, professional pet portraits, a cooking class, an escape-room challenge, trivia games, a scavenger hunt, and more fun. If this sounds like too much, arrange for an in-clinic masseuse for the day to offer 15-minute chair massages.

8. Paid Time Off

Nothing pleases employees more than paid time off. While you might hesitate to offer additional PTO since it cuts into budget, bonus time off can do wonders for your team (and we know they work hard!). Even a paid half-day off can help your employees reset and re-energize. It’s a wonderful gesture and a win-win. 

9. Public Recognition

Vet Techs want people to know what it is that they do! Use your social media channels to spread awareness about the profession, and put your team members in the spotlight for a week. For those who want to participate, include the following: a selfie, their first name, how long they’ve been working in veterinary medicine, their educational background, what pets they have, a fun fact, and more—get creative.

10. Comped CE Class or Membership Fees

Credentialed Vet Techs have to be great at their job and stay on top of continuing education requirements, license renewal fees, and membership fees. CE classes are expensive and annual memberships come at an additional cost (e.g., NAVTA or CaRVTA memberships). Support your Vet Techs by covering their CE classes and/or paying for their annual membership fees. For free offerings, encourage Vet Tech staff to check out the on-demand veterinary CE courses offered through the PetDesk CE University. If they sign up now, they will receive a free CE course.

These are just a few ways to celebrate Vet Techs and show your appreciation. National Vet Tech Week is right around the corner, so kick it off with a bang.