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Changes are Coming to the Alternate Route
On October 21, 2014, the Veterinary Medical Board directed its Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC) to begin working on regulations to approve Alternate Route schools. The direction included reviewing the educational requirements of the Alternate Route to insure that they are equivalent to AVMA guidelines as well as updating the Task List.
The VMB's direction to the MDC also included eliminating the self-directed, or "ad hoc" pathway. It is impossible to say at this point exactly when the self-directed pathway will be...
...eliminated and Alternate Route candidates will be required to attend an approved school. Currently, it is taking the VMB anywhere from 1- 4 years to get new regulations through the process. At the October 21 meeting, Dr. Bill Grant, Chair of the MDC, agreed that the interests of those individuals already in the self-directed pipeline would be taken into consideration when formulating the new regulations.
CaRVTA is providing this information to insure that veterinary assistants are able to make appropriate decisions concerning their career path. Any new information we receive about this process will be published on this web site, and on our Facebook page.
If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Jennifer Loredo Joins CA Veterinary Medical Board
Jennifer Loredo, 34, of Riverside, has been appointed to the California Veterinary Medical Board. Loredo has been the supervising registered veterinary technician at the Riverside County Department of Animal Services since 2005. She was a registered veterinary technician at Advanced Critical Care and Internal Medicine from 2004 to 2005 and at the Animal Hospital of Walnut from 2001 to 2004. Loredo was a patient relations representative at Magan Medical Clinic from 1997 to 2003. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Loredo is registered without party preference. Kim Williams, the first RVT to serve on the Veterinary Medical Board, was appointed in 2010 and has been replaced by Ms. Loredo.
Governor Signs Bill Providing for Paid Sick Leave Starting July 2015
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522) by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), which provides paid sick days to the millions of Californians -- roughly 40% of the state's workforce -- who do not currently earn this benefit.
This bill specifically requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work 30 or more days within a year from commencement of employment and employees will earn a...
...minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
"Whether you're a dishwasher in San Diego or a store clerk in Oakland, this bill frees you of having to choose between your family's health and your job," said Governor Brown. "Make no mistake, California is putting its workers first."
"As a single working Mom, I know first-hand the challenge of having to juggle a sick child who needs to see a doctor and your responsibilities at work," said Assemblymember Gonzalez. "But no parent should have to experience the heartache of having to choose between making the rent and taking care of their child. I am exceptionally proud to have authored this pro-family, pro-worker and pro-public health legislation and very grateful that my Democratic colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Brown also appreciate the need enough to make California the leader in the nation on this issue."
With the Governor's signature, California becomes only the second state in the nation to require paid sick leave. The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 will go into effect July 1, 2015.
Another successful Back-to-School-Conference was held in Gladys Valley Hall on the UC Davis campus on July 26-27. The 7th Annual Back-to-School Conference, which is co-sponsored by CaRVTA and UC Davis, is the largest all technician conference in California, if not the US.
The CaRVTA Board Members at BTS
300 technicians and assistants attended the conference in-person and by live webinar. This year, all 3 tracks were available by webinar, making the conference a very convenient way to obtain all 16 hours of required interactive CE. In addition to the 3 lecture tracks, there were 2 hands-on workshops, which gave the attendees the opportunity to learn about anesthetic protocols and monitoring directly from experts from the UC Davis Veterinary School.
The conference received support from a generous group of sponsors, most of whom had exhibit tables for the attendees to visit. The sponsors included Zoetis, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Cattle Dog Publishing, Covidien, Dechra, Embrace Pet Insurance, Henry Schein, IDEXX, Jorgensen, Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital, Surgivet Smiths Medical, Trupanion and Vetoquinol. CaRVTA extends a hearty thank you to the sponsors for their support of technician education.
A BTS attendee receives
In addition to the excellent education and the exhibits at the conference, attendees were delighted by the many raffles and opportunities to win fun prizes donated by the sponsors and CaRVTA. With so many technicians in attendance, Back-to-School was a great opportunity to network and to meet colleagues from around the state.
CaRVTA and UC Davis are already working on plans for next’ year’s 8th Annual Back-to-School. Ideas or suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CaRVTA's Annual Meeting
The California Registered Veterinary Technicians Association held our annual meeting during the Saturday lunch hour at the Back-to-School Conference. CaRVTA President, Allyne Moon, presented Sandy Gregory with CaRVTA's RVT of the Year award, which consisted of a beautiful plaque, a $500 honorarium and free conference registration. She also unveiled the Nancy Ehrlich Scholarship - a needs based scholarship available to CaRVTA members in need of CE assistance. She also announced that Brenda Baze, RVT was the winner of the Bob Smith Memorial Award (a Littman Cardiology III Stethoscope), and the exciting news that the Veterinary Medical Board had unanimously voted to back CaRVTA’s petition to the Governor to declare the 3rd week of each October, CA RVT Week.
Allyne discussed openings on the Board of Directors and how to run for office. CaRVTA Directors and Mentor Committee Chairs Jeff Backus and Stephen Cital held an informational meeting about the Mentor Committee during the late afternoon break. CaRVTA Treasurer and Legislative Committee Chair, Nancy Ehrlich, was on hand both days answering questions and giving advice on VMB and RVT Alternate Route Issues.
All in all, this was a successful Symposium. Special thanks to all of our sponsors and vendor, who’s generous support made this event possible. We can’t wait to see everyone again next year! If you would like to donate to CaRVTA’s Nancy Ehrlich Scholarship fund, please visit www.carvta.org, click the donate button in the upper right corner, and enter your donation on line.
Reports from the Veterinary Medical Board - October 2014
MULTIDISCIPLINARY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (MDC)
October 20, 2014
The Veterinary Medical Board's (VMB) MDC Committee met on October 20, 2014 in Orange, CA. All members were present except for Jennifer Boyle, RVT. Jennifer Loredo, the new RVT on the VMB, and Jeff Pollard, DVM, were sworn in as new members of the MDC.
After a great deal of discussion, the MDC voted to ask the VMB for direction on moving forward with approving Alternate Route RVT schools. The motion included the MDC's opinion that they should begin the approval process by reviewing the academic requirements of the Alternate Route and updating the Task List. The MDC's motion also included eliminating the...
...self-directed, or "ad hoc" pathway for the Alternate Route because, in the opinion of most of the members of the MDC, the self-directed pathway is not and cannot be considered equivalent to graduation from an AVMA approved RVT program.
The MDC discussed how to proceed with the VMB's mandate to create a regulation specifying the supervision requirements for the RVT student exemption, which allows students in the clinical portion of their final year of study in a Board-approved RVT program to perform restricted RVT job tasks. The MDC approved a motion that states that those students may perform the restricted RVT job tasks under the "Immediate" Supervision of a veterinarian or an RVT, if the RVT is under the Direct Supervision of a veterinarian. "Immediate" in this context would mean that the supervisor is "face-to-face" with the student. The MDC members felt that actual regulations should be tabled until a decision was made on how to proceed with the Alternate Route, since defining the final year for those students was more problematic. There was some discussion that the enabling legislation, Sec. 4830, would have to be amended to allow more flexibility with the definition of final year.
The MDC discussed making changes to the Minimum Standards. They agreed to make some changes to the definition of a Small Animal Vaccination Clinic, the definition of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR) in the absence of client communication and the section regarding written prescriptions in the absence of the original prescribing veterinarian. They formed a sub-committee consisting of Drs. Jon Klingborg and Richard Sullivan to make recommendations on exact language to the MDC at their next meeting.
The issue of veterinarians compounding drugs was discussed. The MDC was advised that in order for veterinarians to legally compound drugs, which includes pre-diluting drugs such as acepromazine, there needs to be a grant of authority by statute. As no such statute currently exists, veterinarians in California who compound drugs are operating outside of the law. The MDC approved a motion to ask the VMB to support a new statute that would authorize veterinarians to compound drugs consistent with Federal guidelines.
The MDC discussed the need to deal with the issue of Premise Permits. The current categories do not sufficiently distinguish between the different needs of large and small animal practices and do not clearly define the different types of practice, such as fixed, mobile, ambulatory. CVMA informed the committee that they were forming a Task Force to discuss the subject and invited MDC members to participate.
The MDC agreed that it was more efficient for them to meet the day prior to regularly scheduled VMB meetings. They then tentatively scheduled their future meetings for January 19, April 20, July 20, October 19, 2015.
VETERINARY MEDICAL BOARD
October 21-22, 2014
The VMB met on October 21 with all members present. Jennifer Loredo, RVT and Kathleen Bowler, Public Member, were sworn in as new members.
Annemarie Del Mugnaio, Executive Officer of the VMB, reported that she is actively recruiting for several new staff positions, including 3 for the licensing program. She stated that the new staff would be cross-trained, so that more than 1 person would be able to perform each job, including reviewing applications. She hopes to have the positions filled by the end of the year. She reported that there are now 12 Hospital Inspectors, with 1 or 2 of them being RVTs. She is planning on conduction 500 routine hospital inspections this fiscal year, up from 200 the previous year. The ultimate goal is for 700 inspections...
...by the next fiscal year. Ms. Del Mugnaio also announced that the VMB is now on Facebook and Twitter in the hope of reaching more consumers.
Ms. Del Mugnaio also reported that the Veterinary Assistant Controlled Substance Permit program, which was scheduled to be in place by July 1, 2015, would most likely be delayed due to lack of regulations in place to define the application and fees. She will present an update in January. In the meantime, veterinary assistants who access controlled substances must be background checked and found to be free of convictions for drug or alcohol abuse.
Statistics on the passing rates for the licensing examinations were presented. On March 1, 2014, candidates were required to take the new RVT Law Exam and the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). From Jan—Feb 2014, the last period when the old California RVT exam was given, there were 213 candidates. The pass rate was 73%. For the period Mar-June, when the first new RVT Law Exam was given, there were 125 candidates with a 67% pass rate. For the period Jul-Oct there were 170 candidates with a 61% pass rate. During the Mar-Apr window there were 53 candidates for the VTNE with a pass rate of 70%. During the Jul-Aug window there were 279 candidates with a 62% pass rate.
Dr. Tom Kendall reported that the American Association of State Boards (AAVSB) is creating a new category for Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAVM). Since AAVSB is the body with the RACE committee that approves CE for veterinarians and RVTs nationwide, it was critical that they develop standards for this growing area. Dr. Kendall also reported that he was elected President-Elect of AAVSB and began serving in that capacity in September. The position is for 2 years, after which he will become the President of AAVSB.
James Weisenberg, Cahir of the VMB Diversion Committee made a presentation about the committee. He reported that the committee consists of 5 members who are recovering drug or alcohol abusers. The Diversion Committee is supposed to serve licensees who either self-report and ask for assistance with their problem prior to a disciplinary process or those who have been required to participate as part of a stipulated agreement with the VMB. Currently, there are only 2 participants, both voluntary. According to Mr. Weisenberg, 10% of the population at large across all demographics has a drug or alcohol abuse problem, so there should be many more veterinarians and RVTs participating in the program. Board members were concerned that licensees are unaware that the program is confidential, so that if someone self-reports their participation is not divulged to the VMB. Licensees may also not be aware that the vast majority of the cost for voluntary participation is paid by the VMB. Other members felt that there are many other outside options that might not be as onerous, which might explain the poor participation rate. The VMB also discussed getting more licensees to agree to participate as part of a stipulated agreement. The VMB will look into better outreach and whether they should continue to underwrite the cost for voluntary participation.
Dr. Bill Grant, Chair of the MDC, reported on the activities of the committee on the previous day. He presented the motion from the MDC to begin the process of approving Alternate Route Schools while updating the Task List and eliminating the self-directed, or "ad hoc" option. Carol Schumacher, RVT, former Chair of the VMB's RVT Committee, pointed out that neither the MDC nor the VMB had presented any evidence that "ad hoc" Alternate Route candidates were inferior to those who had graduated from Alternate Route schools. She referred to statistics that the VMB itself had presented that showed that those candidates who graduated from an Alternate Route program had actually achieved lower passing scores on the RVT licensing exam than those who used the self-directed pathway. Nancy Ehrlich, RVT, Regulatory Advocate for CaRVTA, pointed out that approximately 30% of all candidates who became RVTs in the prior 5 years had used the Alternate Route. She said that without evidence that self-directed candidates were inferior, it was likely that by eliminating the "ad hoc" pathway, the VMB could be reducing the number of RVTs while removing some of the better candidates.
The members of the VMB were convinced that the application process for "ad hoc" candidates was too cumbersome; that education in a CE environment was not equivalent; that there are sufficient distance—learning options and that anyone who was truly interested in becoming an RVT could find a way. After much discussion, the VMB voted to approve the motion presented by the MDC to begin the approval process by reviewing the academic requirements of the Alternate Route and updating the Task List and eliminating the self-directed, or "ad hoc" pathway for the Alternate Route. Ms. Ehrlich pointed out that there are many "ad hoc" Alternate Route candidates in the pipeline already and that any change in the regulations should take them into account. Dr. Grant agreed that any new proposal would take them into consideration.
Dr. Cheryl Waterhouse made a presentation on "Anesthesia Free Dentistry". She presented a slide show that depicted several cases where the teeth of dogs looked relatively normal on visual examination but had abscesses or internal resorption on radiograph. She pointed out that it is impossible to diagnose these diseased teeth without dental radiography, which requires anesthesia. There was a discussion that there needs to be more public education about animal dentistry. Dr. Mark Nunez agreed to put together more information for the next meeting. Ms. Del Mugnaio reported that Cindy Collins, proprietor of Canine Care, the largest "Anesthesia Free Teeth Cleaning" company that has been operating outside of a veterinary hospital, was recently fined $150,000 and her business shut down for practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
Several representatives of the California University of Management and Sciences in Anaheim asked the VMB to begin the approval process for their new 4-year RVT program. They claimed they had written the VMB asking for an application and had not had a response. Ms. Del Mugnaio stated that the VMB was no longer approving RVT schools and suggested that they apply to the AVMA instead. They responded that their program was too new for AVMA accreditation and that they were seeking California approval as provided for in the regulations until they were eligible for AVMA accreditation. After consideration, the VMB agreed that they would research the regulations, contact the school and move forward with the approval process. The VMB has not approved a new school in 10 years, so they will have to get the process up and running, which may not satifsy the school's desire for a speedy process. Ms. Del Mugnaio pointed out the graduates of the school could use their education to apply under the Alternate Route if they completed the 4416 required hours of work experience.
The VMB elected Dr. Mark Nunez to be President of the Board. Dr. Cheryl Waterhouse was elected Vice-President. They will begin serving their terms at the January 2015 meeting.
Dining with Dogs
Governor Jerry Brown has signed the Dining with Dogs bill that allows restaurants with outdoor eating areas to serve people with dogs in tow. Here's a link to the press release: www.socialcompassioninlegislation.org/pdf/dining-with-dog-signed-by-gov.pdf
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Now Available! CaRVTA's RVT Exam Study Guide
CaRVTA has just released our latest publication, a new RVT Exam Study Guide for RVT candidates taking the new Law Exam. Beginning March 1, all candidates will be required to take the California Veterinary Technician Examination (Law Exam) plus the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). The Study Guide contains all of the laws and regulations that may appear on the law exam test in one handy book. Buy Now at the CaRVTA Online Store!
Support the Morris Animal Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study
More than 70 million dogs live in the United States. Half of them over the age of 10 will die of cancer. In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 2. CaRVTA is a proud supporter of the Morris Animal Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which will track 3,000 volunteer Golden Retrievers' health for life in order to gain insights into preventing and treating cancer and other canine diseases. The Foundation is seeking to enroll 3,000 volunteer Golden Retrievers for this study, which will collect observational data over the next 10 to 14 years to help scientists learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases that take the lives of our dogs too soon. If you are an owner, enroll your dog today. If you are a veterinarian, encourage clients to register. If you are a breeder, help spread the word. Visit caninelifetimehealth.org to learn more!