Flashcards in To Know Deck (34):
What was the first referred journal for veterinary technicians titled?
What was the first specialty training that was made available to veterinary technicians?
Emergency Critical Care
What are the three medically related activities that can only be performed by a licensed DVM?
What is the difference between a primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care animal facility?
Primary care facilities are veterinary practices are small businesses set up to provide primary care to patients. The vast majority of veterinary practices in the US are primary care veterinary practices.
Secondary hospitals are much smaller and have one or more referral veterinary specialists (i.e., board certified in internal medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology,
etc.). They provide referral services to clients that primary care practitioners decide to refer to a specialist.
Tertiary care facilities are located at the 28 veterinary schools plus Animal Medical Center in NYC and Angell Memorial in Boston. Tertiary care means that they offer research, education, and specialized clinical
service by board certified specialists.
Describe the two major differences between human medical practice and veterinary medical practice discussed in the module 4 handout
1. Building and Equipment. DVM’s must buy the
land, build the hospital, hire all of the staff and buy
the costly medical equipment and supplies that are priced similar to those in human medicine. MD’s
have hospital privileges in a facility staffed,
equipped, and funded by another organization.
MD’s only have to invest in an office or clinic for
general practice. Pharmacists do not have to
invest in any facilities – they almost all work for a
chain store or a hospital.
2. Insurance. Many human patients either have
medical insurance or government support
programs to pay for part of the services including prescriptions.
What are some of the areas in which credentialed veterinary technicians can be utilized other than in private practice?
- Small/companion animal practice – 52.5%
- Mixed animal practice – 12.3%
- Food animal and equine practice – 1.8%
- Specialty/emergency practice – 17.4%
- University/college teaching hospital - 10.2%
- Non-practice positions - 5.8%
What are the three main factors that influence the salaries of credentialed veterinary technicians?
1. Practice location. The part of the country and the
type of town or city in which you live will have a large
impact on the salary that you earn. Chances are, if
you work in a practice in a larger metropolitan area,
you will make more money than working in a practice
in a smaller or rural town. Of course, your cost of
living will be greater in a larger urban area.
2. Type & Size of practice. Regarding working in a
practice situation, specialty/referral practice is usually
the highest paying, followed by larger, multi-doctor,
progressive, general practices. Smaller, 1-2 doctor
practices are usually going to pay the least, especially
if they are located in small towns and rural areas
(remember that in a smaller town your cost of living
will be lower).
3. Delegation/utilization of VT’s. Practices that have
sufficient knowledge of what credentialed VT’s can do
and whether the clinic is good at delegating tasks and
utilizing their technicians to their fullest potential has
an impact on how much the clinic pays its VT’s.
Unfortunately, there are many clinics out there that
decide they want to hire credentialed VT’s and then
utilize them as glorified receptionists and assistants
and pay them poorly. Some clinics don’t realize the
earning potential of properly utilized VT’s and how
they can have a positive effect on the clinic’s earning
potential. Usually larger, more progressive clinics
and specialty clinics are better at utilizing VT’s
(hence, they usually pay better) and smaller clinics
tend to have their support staff fill many roles (i.e.,
you may do some VT tasks but you may also fill the
role of receptionist and OJT assistant which results in a lower salary.
Why are many DVMs not effective at delegating tasks to their technicians and assistants?
Poor delegation is a common fault of DVM’s, who often
worked as VA’s themselves while in school. DVM’s are
sometimes so independent and/or uninformed that it is not
normal and easy for them to delegate treatments, case
workups of tests and radiographs, anesthesia, induction, etc. to a health care team led by a certified VT.
What are the three major differences between veterinary assistants and veterinary technicians?
1. Education...VA's focus on hands on skills while VT's have a formal post-secondary education.
2. Credentialing...VA's do not have to pass any type of certification exam while VT's must graduate from an accredited AVMA VT program and pass the VTNE. In some states they also have to pass a state exam as well.
3. Tasks Performed...VA's mostly assist the technician and perform animal care duties while VT's focus on carrying out treatments, general nursing care, and monitor hospitalized patients. They take radiographs, perform lab tests, induce and monitor anesthesia, surgical assisting and client education.
Explain the difference between "Registered", "Certified", and "Licensed" veterinary technicians and describe why there is no national credentialing of veterinary technicians
There is no major difference between the three terms. Each of the fifty states decides on the title that will be used (RVT, CVT, or LVT) in their state as well as how credentialing is obtained and how it is kept
Describe the difference between State Certification and Specialty Certification
State certification regulations are at the entry level of
knowledge and skills expected by employers and exist to
protect the public’s animals by determining competency to
practice the profession of veterinary technology as a
veterinary team member.
Specialty certifications are voluntary programs set up by
specialty societies to certify competency in advanced
levels of knowledge, skills, and applications of the
specialty area. It is much beyond entry level application.
Identify the specialty areas that exist for credentialed veterinary technicians
Veterinary Emergency and Critical
Care Society (VECCS - www.avecct.org)
The Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians
The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists
The Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians
The Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians
The Academy of Veterinary Zoological Medicine Technicians
The Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians
The Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians
The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice
The Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians
The Academy of Veterinary Clinical Pathology Technicians
Describe the protocol for moving to another state and becoming credentialed in the new state
When you move to a different state your credentials are
not transferable, only your VTNE score is so in order to be legal, when you move to another state you should get in touch with the STATE REGULATORY AGENCY. You will need to find out what their requirements are and whether they recognize the national board exam (VTNE). You should apply to have your VTNE score transferred by the Interstate Reporting Service (IRS) of the Professional Exam Service (PES) to the new state agency.
Identify the law that governs the practice of veterinary medicine in any of the 50 states
Model Practice Act
Describe, in general, the steps one should take when trying to deal with a situation in which a person feels they are being harassed or intimidated by a co-worker
Tell the harasser to stop
Keep a record of events
Talk to your peers about the harassment
Ask for help
Identify and describe the help that available specifically for veterinarians and veterinary technicians who are struggling with substance abuse
The AVMA's Model Program for Wellness
Education and early detection
Investigation and intervention
Referral for evaluation and treatment
Explain why it is best to avoid office romance with co-workers at a veterinary facility
One may have a supervisory role over another. It can also lead to harassment complaints from other staff bc it usually affects, or appears to affect other ee's, sometimes negatively.
Explain the difference between laws and ethical codes as they pertain to the veterinary profession
---LAWS and ethics govern all medical professions. State
laws regarding licensing are needed to assure
competency of those providing medical services and to
protect the public.
---ETHICAL CODES go beyond the most essential areas
governed by law to help keep those in the profession
focused on honesty and integrity in their dealings with
colleagues, our veterinary teammates, the public and, in
this profession, the animal patients.
What are the 3 main criteria that make up the veterinary/client/patient relationship (VCPR) and describe how these relate to contract laws in veterinary medicine?
1. The licensed DVM has assumed the RESPONSIBILITY
for making clinical judgments regarding the health
of the animal(s) and the client has agreed to
follow the DVM’s instruction;
2. The DVM has sufficient KNOWLEDGE OF THE ANIMAL(S) to initiate at least a general or
preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of
the animal(s). The DVM must have recently
seen, and is personally acquainted with the
keeping and care of the animals(s) by virtue of an
examination of the animals(s) or by medically
appropriate and timely visits to the premises
where the animal(s) are kept; and
3. The DVM is READILY AVAILABLE FOR FOLLOW-UP
evaluation or has arranged for emergency
coverage in the event of adverse reactions or
failure of the treatment regimen.
Explain the "Captain of the Ship" principle
---The universal legal principle on delegation and responsibility issues is that the veterinary employer in veterinary practice is responsible for the acts of all employees (this is called the “captain of the ship”
principle). The employing veterinarian has the ultimate
responsibility and choice on the utilization of VT’s and
VA’s in an appropriate manner that is legally consistent
with all laws, regulations, and ethical codes.
---The combination of the practice act and captain of the
ship principle are very important to many debates VT’s
have on utilization, reward issues, certification,
malpractice insurance, and recognition.
---Some VT’s have a disrespectful attitude against DVM’s or
a cynical attitude about recognition unfairness. Yet, VT’s
legally must work together under a licensed DVM. VT’s
should select a team where they can be well-utilized and
respected in order to foster a high level of
Define "negligence" and "malpractice" and explain how they are related
---Negligence is failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would use under the circumstances in doing something that should not
have been done or failing to do what should have been
done. A DVM (or VT) is negligent if they failed to act
as a “reasonably prudent” manner. The client may charge a DVM with negligence if an employee (including secretaries, VA’s and VT’s) was negligent and injured the patient. The
client will have to prove the injury occurred and that the
staff or DVM was negligent to collect real and punitive
---Malpractice refers to medical or professional negligence.
It involves the lack of reasonable care, foresight, and/or
skill in treating a patient.
What are the 3 most common causes of malpractice lawsuits in veterinary medicine (module 7 handout)?
--lack of client understanding of the risks
--or grief and anger over an unexpected loss
Describe, in general, what happens when a credentialed veterinary technician or a veterinary assistant is accused of wrong-doing.
• If it is by a credentialed VT, it goes to the State Veterinary
Board of Veterinary Examiners. They review the
complaint, decide whether to gather evidence through an
investigator of the Attorney Generals office, review it to
see if there is reason for a hearing, and if so, hold a
hearing with testimony of all parties involved. Then they
decide whether to initiate probation, suspend, revoke, or
not act on the status of the credentials. They can also
refer the case forward for prosecution through the courts.
• If the individual is an assistant and is not a VT officially
certified by the state as a Registered Veterinary Technician (or whatever the official term is in the state),
they either turn it over to the prosecutor to bring charges
or drop it if it has no merit.
Explain the privileged information concept
Everything about a case and client is confidential. Nothing can be shared with anyone outside the clinic through gossip, even with a spouse or friend, or when requested by another party.
Explain the difference between the 2 general types of safety risks and give examples of each.
1. the sudden accidental dog bite, needle stick, fall, etc.
that is unexpected and can be treated medically or
surgically, hopefully with a normal quick recovery;
2. the additive effects of repeated chronic exposure to
dangerous radiation, anesthetic gases, chemicals or
drugs like disinfectants, flea agents, and
Describe the risks that can be associated with being pregnant while working in a veterinary facility.
It is prudent for the pregnant woman to not be in the room
when X-rays are exposed (even if wearing a lead apron)
and to avoid anesthetic gases that build up in surgery and
recovery. The anesthetic machine should be properly
scavenged with a system to remove gases breathed off by
the animal to the outside.
Identify the trimester in which the fetus is at the greatest risk of being harmed by such things as radiation and anesthetic gases.
First trimester (first three months)
Briefly describe the way in which a person can become infected with rabies and explain why pre-exposure protection is so important.
You can only get the rabies virus from a bite or exposure
to infected animal’s saliva through a skin abrasion into
your nerves. Pre-exposure protection is important for VT’s and DVM’s for the possible exposure that might occur without knowing it had occurred.
Identify the protozoan zoonotic disease that causes the greatest risk to a pregnant woman.
Toxoplasmosis is the disease syndrome caused by a protozoan organism called Toxoplasma gondii
Briefly describe the way in which the bacterial organism Clostridium tetani causes disease
The tetanus organism, Clostridium tetani is common in
animal areas and can be introduced through splinters,
cuts, and especially punture wounds that seal off and
preven oxygen exposure. The organism is anaerobic and
produces a potent toxin in the absence of air. Deaths from this disease are absoutely preventable, yet more die from it than from rabies in the US!
Explain the art or restraint and the five factors that influence one's ability to successfully restrain an animal
Restraint is an art that requires great experience and
1. accommodate the variations of each animal
2. recognize the animal’s stress level
3. anticipate all possible animal responses
4. understand and accommodate specie behaviors; and
5. apply just the right amount of restraint to get the task
performed effectively and quickly.
Explain the minimum restraint rule and why it is important for the handler and the animal
We use the minimum amount of restraint
necessary to safely and effectively accomplish the
1. too much restraint can create a lot of stress on the
animal and, if the animal is sick, more stress could
greatly harm (or possibly kill) the animal.
2. not enough restraint could allow the animal to either
escape and possibly injure itself or cause injury to
the person trying to restrain or the person performing
the procedure or treatment (e.g., drawing blood,
dressing a wound, etc.) on the animal.
Identify the three types of restraint used in veterinary medicine and be able to give examples of each
--Physical restraint...special restraint tools, ropes, chutes, squeeze crate, bags, muzzles, tubes, stocks, barriers, crates, snares, nets, gloves, twitch, nose lead, bales of hay,
blankets, our hands.
--Psychological restraint...this type of restraint takes species behavior into account. Take away its sight, and an animal my suddenly become docile. The calm and confident emotional state of ones voice may project confidence and dominance.
• Nocturnal animals are easier to restrain in light and the
opposite is true.
• Each animal has its flight distance and personal space
distance. They flee when we approach the flight distance.
Dogs protect a territory, so take them out of their territory
to eliminate this response. In the hospital, their cage may
become their territory to defend and they will respond
differently in another area.
• The VT who studies animal behavior, uses this understanding of normal responses of each species, and “reads” each individual patient confronted will often learn to restrain much more effectively and safely than
someone who just grabs and holds on!
• Chemical restrain has advanced rapidly in the last few
decades. It has greatly changed the nature of equine and
zoo practice. It has also significantly impacted canine,
feline, and food animal restraint. It can be given orally, by
syringe, by blowgun, dart gun and crossbow.