Penn Foster — an online training platform— announced a new certification program offering veterinary professionals training in key telehealth and virtual care skills. According to a release from Penn Foster, this is the first accredited training program specifically tailored for remote pet care.1 The course’s stated objective is to equip veterinary technicians, assistants, and administrators with the ability to provide top-tier virtual care to their patients.
“The past 2 years have seen skyrocketing demand for remote care across the landscape of veterinary medicine, and advances in technology mean that telehealth can often be as effective as in-person visits,” said Julie Legred, CVT, co-founder of Veterinary Advancements LLC, and director of strategic veterinary relationships at Petzey.
“We have been utilizing telemedicine without even thinking about it as such over the years and with an understanding of this we should be comfortable with many aspects of it, but we definitely have some room for improvement with the technology available,” she continued.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more than 23 million households adopted a new pet during the COVID-19 pandemic.2 This increased pet ownership combined with the challenges of the pandemic has led to an increased demand for telehealth and virtual care.3 This naturally places an higher need and demand for these services on veterinary professionals
“Many of our team members have the skill set already but need to be empowered and supported to move forward and be provided tools to gain confidence in bringing it into their day-to-day routine to provide the best patient care,” said Legred.
“This first-of-its-kind program will help us address a critical training and development need to build confidence as we continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’ of pet care. This will provide additional options for access to pet care that may not necessarily be available today.”
One option to help veterinary hospitals meet increased demand for telehealth and virtual care is to empower veterinary technicians to take on virtual routine appointments and check-ups. According to the release, Penn Foster’s Veterinary Team Telehealth Career Certificate is specifically designed to enable veterinary professionals to seamlessly interact with technology in ways that will better serve clients and their pets.1
“While telehealth services can’t completely replace in-person visits, a balance of the two can greatly improve care—making it all the more important to ensure that team members can access the training they need to provide thorough and effective remote support,” said Megan Chadwick, CVT, director of veterinary studies at Penn Foster. “This new program responds to the needs of not only veterinary hospitals and care providers, but also the pet owners who are navigating a rapidly changing landscape as the industry continues to evolve.”
- Penn Foster Launches First-of-its-Kind Training Program for Veterinary Telehealth. News release. May 10, 2022. [email]
- New ASPCA Survey Shows Overwhelming Majority of Dogs and Cats Acquired During the Pandemic Are Still in Their Homes. News release. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). May 26, 2021. Accessed May 12, 2022. https://www.aspca.org/about-us/press-releases/new-aspca-survey-shows-overwhelming-majority-dogs-and-cats-acquired-during
- The ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance Program’s Data Shows Increased Telemedicine Usage. News release. PR Newswire. July 27, 2021. Accessed May 12, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-aspca-pet-health-insurance-programs-data-shows-increased-telemedicine-usage-301342421.html