Fellow CPEPs. Welcome to the family!

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Congratulations are in order!  You have a new career achievement, becoming a Certified Peaceful Euthanasia Professional (CPEP). Offered especially for veterinary technicians, assistants, social workers, and practice managers, it means you have completed the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy’s (CAETA) 10-hour certification program (veterinarians earn the designation of CPEV). Our hats are off to you, proud of your commitment to your precious patients, their families, and your career. 

As a fellow CPEP, I received my certification last summer. It feels good to know I have advanced knowledge, greater communication skills, and the ability to create a peaceful euthanasia for the pets I am helping and the families in my care. You and I are part of the CAETA family and will always share this bond! 

When thinking about my journey as a credentialed veterinary technician, becoming a CPEP aligned with the veterinary technician oath I agreed to over 37 years ago; providing excellent care, relieving suffering, and engaging in life-long learning. If you will indulge me, I’d like to share some of my experiences and medical philosophies. 

Relief of Animal Suffering
When I first stepped onto the floor of a veterinary hospital as a volunteer while in high school, one of the services Lenna Drummond, CVT and I performed was the gentle euthanasia of a wild bunny that had been severely injured. From that moment on, I have embraced the gift in delivering a kind, humane euthanasia. For patients with a terminal illness, injury, or advanced age related changes, euthanasia is a loving service. 

You as a CPEP will have a similar belief in relieving animal suffering through euthanasia when it’s the best thing to do. Please share your gift of knowledge with others on the team to better serve pets and families. Be bold and speak up when you feel you can be of service. 

Provide Excellent Care
Euthanasia is a medical procedure and must be viewed as such. There are “no do overs” when delivering a good death. For CPEPs you have demonstrated your caring commitment to making the final breath of a beloved pet peaceful, and now a cherished moment for the family left behind. You are a rare breed, embracing end-of-life care for the benefit of those we serve; the feathered, furry, scaly, and wooly. Using the 14 Essential Components of Good Euthanasia is what you do. 

Life-Long Learning
Accolades showered on you for demonstrating your commitment to your career advancement and being a life-long learner. Especially for choosing to be a part of the Good Death Revolution! Let’s face it. Euthanasia work is not nearly as enticing as emergency/critical care, or as popular as becoming an expert in veterinary dentistry, or maybe as prestigious as an anesthesia specialty, but it is important, relevant, and needed nonetheless. Euthanasia is considered one of the most common procedures for companion animals. With so little about euthanasia taught to us in veterinary technician college, learning from groups like CAETA is a must. You saw the opportunity to develop your skills and you said YES!

In completing the CAETA CPEP program you learned about well-being and ways in which to support your co-workers. For various reasons, euthanasia services may cause your co-workers anguish or anxiety. Because of this, CPEP graduates may continue to build a healthy veterinary team culture by sharing valuable lessons learned. 

To recap the topics you successfully completed in the CPEP course…

  • 14 Essential Components of a Good Euthanasia
  • Overview of Euthanasia and History
  • Caregiver and Pet Considerations
  • Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Euthanasia Techniques
  • Challenging Situations and Dysthanasia
  • Case Reviews
  • Useful Supplies and Materials
  • Euthanasia Team Support

Now as you carry the torch forward in delivering peaceful euthanasias, exemplifying calm and compassion for the sake of your pets and their families, know we have your back and will be here for you, cheering you on and celebrating all your successes. Want to keep your CPEP credentials active? All it takes is 4 hours of euthanasia learning with CAETA every year.

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Rebecca Rose, RVT

Rebecca Rose, RVT, is a credentialed leader in the veterinary community with experience managing clinics, collaborating with industry partners, authoring articles and books, and facilitating engaging team workshops. The former NAVTA president's enthusiasm for professional development in veterinary medicine is contagious. She encourages and supports veterinary teams in reaching their highest potential to maintain a healthy, sustainable life and career.

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