Because of the increasing use of animals as subjects in biomedical and veterinary research, there is an expanding need for technicians who are trained in the skills and techniques required to support and complement the work of the animal research investigator, the Veterinarian, and individuals in related professional areas.
This study was designed to determine the opinions of professionals in the animal science area as to the need for such technical personnel, and to determine the tasks which these technicians perform in Manitoba. A comprehensive list of practicing veterinarians, animal science educators and related biomedical research professionals in Manitoba was prepared. A Task Inventory of duties which might be performed by technicians in the veterinary, animal science and biomedical research areas was constructed, and together with other pertinent questions incorporated into two questionnaires. One questionnaire contained questions to be answered by veterinarians and the other questionnaire was designed to be answered by professionals in animal science and related areas. A total of one hundred and four questionnaires were mailed to the selected participants and eighty-one replies were received.
The responses to the questions on the questionnaire were analyzed and reported as percentages, together with any comments made by the respondents. The task statements were analyzed, and resulted in comparisons of the mean of each task statement as reported by the two groups of professionals. Based on the results obtained, a list of tasks in rank order of importance was identified for animal science technicians and veterinary assistants. This list indicated that tasks in the areas of Animal Nursing and Surgical Assistance were of major importance to both groups of technicians. Tasks which were only of major importance for animal care technicians were Animal Breeding and Medicine, while the tasks which were of major importance for veterinary assistants were Radiography, Laboratory Procedures, Office Procedures and Sanitation.
An analysis of results revealed that in Manitoba the requirements are for technicians with a diversified training in the animal science area, and not for specially trained animal care technicians and veterinary assistants. if a training program for such animal science technicians was initiated, the following courses should be included: Animal Nursing; Surgical Assistance; Animal Breeding; Medicine; Radiology; Laboratory Procedures, Sanitation and Office Practices.