The AVST will examine only veterinary technicians who meet the following criteria:

Have a minimum of at least 10,000 hours (5 years) of work experience as a credentialed veterinary technician with 6,000 hours (3 years) preceding the application focused in the field of surgery.

All experience must be completed within five years prior to the application.

Spend at least 75% of his/her time in the area of specialization in Surgery.

  • Veterinary Surgery includes the advanced knowledge of surgical procedures and instrumentation (including instrument identification and care), proper   sterilization techniques, principles of infection control, aseptic techniques, perioperative patient care, physical rehabilitation and a thorough knowledge of the anatomy and pathophysiology of animals.
  • Surgery is defined as the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of injury, deformity and disease by manual and instrumental means.
  • A procedure is considered surgical when it involves cutting of tissues or closure of a previously sustained wound.
  • Surgical procedure may include elective, emergency, reconstructive, transplantation, replantation, cosmetic or minimally invasive procedures such as laparoscopy and laser surgery.

A minimum of 40 hours of continuing education (CE) in surgery and related specialties completed within five years prior to application.
  •  CE must be obtained after becoming a credentialed/graduate veterinary technician.
  •  Proof of attendance is required.
  •  CE provider must be a member of veterinary specialty Academy or College.
  •  No more that 50% (20 hours) of in-house or on-line combined CE is accepted.

Provide documentary evidence of advanced competence in surgery through clinical experience.

Completion of the provided current Advanced Veterinary Surgical Technician Skills Form. The skills form documents those surgery related skills that have been mastered by the candidate and are necessary to participate in veterinary surgery at an advanced level.

Case Report Log is maintained for one (1) year immediately prior to the application submission deadline. A minimum of fifty (50) cases must be recorded. Case reports reflect advanced knowledge of the management of surgical cases and show mastery of advanced nursing skills. 

Four (4) in-depth Case Reports selected from the case report log demonstrating expertise in the nursing management of a variety of surgical veterinary patients. 

Two (2) letters of recommendation from a VTS (Surgery), or a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgery. 

Note: Until there are sufficient numbers VTS (Surgery) letters of recommendation will be accepted from the following: VTS (Anesthesia, Emergency & Critical Care, Dentistry or Internal Medicine)