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University of Colorado Denver

Environmental Health and Safety, University of Colorado Denver

Veterinary Sciences, Healthcare, and Animal Worker

Training and Needs Assessment Project

Vet tech with dog

The Veterinary Sciences and Healthcare Worker Training and Needs Assessment project is sponsered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH/CDC/DHHS) through the Mountain Plains Education and Research Center

The aim is to assess the occupational exposures and training needs of workers in veterinary sciences, animal healthcare, and other animal care settings.  If successful, this project will inform the development of training for workers in these fields.  the project team consists of professionals from the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus with backgrounds in occupational safety, veterinary sciences, training development, communications, and public health.  It is the goal of the project team to develop training that addresses the specific occupational safety needs (with strongest emphasis in chemical exposure control) of veterinary workers and in a delivery form appropriate to the learning style of the this working community.  That is why input from this working community is critical to the success of the project.

The methods employed to conduct the needs assessment phase of this project include an online survey, interviews, and focus groups.  If you are engaged in veterinary healthcare delivery, animal husbandry/care, or related veterinary occupation, we want to hear from you. 

Learn more about how you or your organization can participate, getting information, and potentially winning a prize through the links below.

This study is funded by the CDC NIOSH. The current project aim is to identify the potential occupational exposures of workers in the veterinary field in order to inform training and outreach tools for this occupational group. This study protocol was approved for exempt status by the University of Colorado IRB  on 2/12/2014.  Reference: COMIRB Protocol 14-0040.
Most information will be collected through a survey, which is being developed for this specific purpose. The survey is currently being piloted with a select set of organizations and clinics. Based on the pilot results and information collected through focus groups and interviews with people in the field, a final survey will be refined and offered to the entire veterinary community.
You can help this important effort by participating in final survey. Register for the survey by emailing You will be sent an email with the link to take the live survey. The survey has questions about the type of work you conduct, the type of training you've received, and information about safety controls in the workplace. There are also questions about demographics, but you will not be asked for your name or the name of your workplace.
There may be other opportunities to take the survey through professional organizations. However, you can only take the survey once.
Depending on your responses, the survey should take between 15 to 25 minutes to complete. Upon completing the survey, you will have the option to enroll in a drawing for a prize (Kindle Fire). To do so, you will be directed to a registration page that will ask for your contact information. This information is not linked to your survey responses.
If you have questions about the survey, you can email us at: or
Your privacy is important. When completing the survey, you will not be asked for your name or the name of your workplace. The responses on the survey are kept separate from information identifying your workplace. The responses you provide will not be provided to your workplace.
At the end of the study, general results are analyzed as percentages and ratios of all respondents (no individual response or worksite specific responses are shared). These statistics may be shared with professional organizations, participating sites, certifying agencies, or in published results through a technical journal article. Primarily they will be used by the study team to help them develop training or inform training needs for the profession.
Once you complete the survey, you are prompted to go to a separate form that collects your name, email and workplace. This serves two purposes: 1) It ensures that only individuals from the veterinary field take the survey; 2) It enrolls you for the opportunity to win a Kindle Fire. This information is not shared with anyone outside the study team. No vendor or other organization will be provided this information. Again, it is not linked to your responses on the survey.

​You can get involved now by sharing your input with us directly, or if you have a worksite, you can volunteer your worksite to facilitate a focus group of employees from your site.  Focus groups participants are needed from from clinical settings, rural practices, and zoos. 

If your practice wishes to volunteer their site, contact us (  Participation by employees must be voluntary.   If your worksite participates, they can recieve the final results of the full survey (i.e., what was learned from all respondants).  However, they can not recieve information about the actual responses of any one focus group.  This is to protect the privacy of those participating in focus groups and taking the survey.

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