Scope of Practice – Technicians

Individuals must be licensed to hold the title of Veterinary Technician.

The Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine reviewed a number of unlicensed practice cases in April of 2016. During this time the Board became aware that a number of individuals are identifying themselves as veterinary technicians without holding the required license. The Georgia Veterinary Practice Act stipulates, “It is a violation of law for an individual to accept employment as a veterinary technician and/or hold themselves to be a veterinary technician in the state of Georgia without a valid license issued by this Board [O.C.G.A. 43-50-3(18)].”

To ensure that individuals are practicing veterinary medicine accordingly the Board recommends:

  • Recent graduates of RVT programs should not identify themselves as technicians until their license process is completed.
  • State employment verification forms should be reviewed to ensure that an employer is not misidentifying veterinary staff.
  • Veterinary practices should only identify licensed staff as “veterinary technician.”

For any additional questions please contact Adrienne D. Price at aprice@sos.ga.gov

Chapter 700-14-.01 through .04

Purpose: The purpose of the chapter is to outline the scope of practice for veterinary technicians and outline the level of supervision required when veterinary technicians perform assigned animal care tasks.

Main Features: The main features of the chapter are to outline the scope of practice for veterinary technicians and outline the level of supervision required when veterinary technicians perform assigned animal care tasks.

700-14-.01 Immediate Supervision
A veterinary technician working under the direction, supervision and control of a duly licensed veterinarian may provide the following animal patient care under immediate supervision:

  • surgical assistance

700-14-.02 Direct Supervision
(1) Direct supervision means that the duly licensed veterinarian is on the premises and is quickly and easily available and that the animal patient has been examined by a licensed veterinarian at such time as acceptable veterinary medical practice requires, consistent with the particular delegated animal health care task.

(2) A veterinary technician working under the direction, supervision and control of a duly licensed veterinarian may provide the following animal patient care under direct supervision:

(a) Euthanasia;
(b) Administration of blood or blood components to animal patients;
(c) Application of splints and slings;
(d) Dental procedures including, but not limited to the removal of calculus, soft deposits, plaque and stains; the smoothing, filing, and polishing of teeth; or the floatation or dressing of equine teeth;
(e) Non-emergency intubations;
(f) Induce anesthesia;
(g) Maintenance of anesthesia;
(h) Assisting any duly licensed veterinarian in the measuring of quantities of medication, but excluding the dispensing, compounding, or mixing of drugs;
(i) Dental extraction not requiring sectioning of the tooth or the resectioning of bone;
(j) Perform central venous; and
(k) Perform arterial catherization/arterial collection.

700-14-.03 Indirect Supervision

(1) Indirect supervision means the duly licensed veterinarian is not on the premises but has given either written or oral instructions for the treatment of the animal patient and the animal has been examined by a licensed veterinarian at such times as acceptable veterinary medical practice requires, consistent with the particular delegated health care task.

(2) A veterinary technician working under the direction, supervision and control of a duly licensed veterinarian may provide the following animal patient care under indirect supervision:

(a) Administration and application of treatments, drugs, medications and immunological agents by oral, IM and subqutaneous routes, excluding rabies vaccine for animals required to receive a rabies vaccine by Georgia law;
(b) Administration and application of treatments, drugs, medications and immunological agents by intravenous routes.
(c) Radiography including settings, positioning, processing, and safety procedures;
(d) Collection of blood for diagnostic purposes; collection of urine by expression, or catheterization; collection of feces; collection and preparation of tissue, cellular, or microbiological samples by skin scrapings, impressions, or other non-surgical methods for diagnostic purposes;
(e) Routine laboratory test procedures;
(f) Collection of urine by cystocentesis; and
(g) Blood or blood component collection and preparation for transfusion.

(3) A veterinary technician working under the direction, supervision and control of a duly licensed veterinarian may provide the following emergency animal patient care under indirect supervision:

(a) Application of tourniquets and/or pressure bandages to control hemorrhage;
(b) Resuscitative procedures;
(c) Application of temporary splints or bandages to prevent further injury to bones or soft tissues;
(d) Application of appropriate wound dressings and external supportive treatment in severe wound and burn cases; and
(e) External supportive treatment in heat prostration cases.

(4) Grooming procedures and non-invasive skin (topical) treatment; and

(5) Handling of biohazardous waste materials.

700-14-.04 Restrictions

A veterinary technician is not permitted to do the following:

  • make any diagnosis or prognosis
  • prescribe any treatments, drugs, medications, or appliances
  • perform surgery
  • administer a rabies vaccine to any official vaccinate
Definitions

Immediate Supervision
The licensed veterinarian is in audible and visual range of the animal patient and the person treating the animal.

Direct supervision
The licensed veterinarian is on the premises and is quickly and easily available and that the animal patient has been examined by a licensed veterinarian at such time as acceptable veterinary medical practice requires, consistent with the particular delegated animal health care task.

Indirect supervision
The licensed veterinarian is not on the premises but has given either written or oral instructions for the treatment of the animal patient and the animal has been examined by a licensed veterinarian at such times as acceptable veterinary medical practice requires, consistent with the particular delegated health care task.

Not Allowed
The specified group is not allowed to perform this task.

RVT
Has passed the National Veterinary Technician Exam and has registered with the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Assistant
Has ‘on the job training’ or a single year of formal training.

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