Reg/Leg Report for February 19, 2015
- Alternate Route
- Student Exemptions
- Faculty Licensure
- Minimum Standards
- Premise Permits
- Public Comment
- Vacancies on MDC
The Veterinary Medical Board’s (VMB) Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC) met on February 19 in Sacramento. The first item on the agenda was a review of Alternate Route programs. At it’s last meeting, the VMB directed the MDC to propose regulations to approve Alternate Route schools, while insuring that the requirements for those programs was equivalent to the requirements for other approved RVT schools in California. The VMB also directed the MDC to eliminate the “ad hoc” or self-directed option for Alternate Route candidates, because it believed that the “ad hoc” pathway could not be made equivalent and that there was now sufficient access to Alternate Route schools.
The MDC reviewed a list of the Alternate Route schools that it was aware of and the curriculum offered at those schools. They also reviewed regulatory language that had been prepared by staff. The proposal included the academic requirements from Section 2065 of the Practice Act, which describes the criteria for evaluating “equivalent programs”. The Committee made a few changes to the proposal, including eliminating the word “directed” from the term “directed clinical practice”, which describes the work requirements. They also eliminated the language that required all academic courses to be “interactive”, which would allow candidates to watch webinars and videos that are not live. They agreed that the schools would be required to keep their pass rate on the VTNE only within 10 points of the state average for first time candidates, concluding that out-of-state programs could not be held responsible for the California RVT Law Exam results. The MDC also agreed that the new regulation would include an effective date when the “ad hoc” or self-directed pathway would be eliminated, to give candidates using that pathway sufficient notice. The proposal as amended by the MDC will be put into regulatory language by staff and will be presented to VMB at its April meeting. New regulations are taking anywhere from 1-4 years to become effective, so it is impossible at this time to know exactly when the proposed changes would be in effect.
A law went into effect in 2011 giving RVT students an exemption that allows them to perform restricted RVT job tasks during their final year of study. The VMB was directed to write regulations defining the level of supervision required for these students. The MDC had considerable discussion about just what constitutes the “final year”, since Alternate Route RVT programs can be as short as 17 weeks, while some AVMA programs are 15-18 months and others are 4 years. The Committee decided to send a letter to all the RVT schools asking them at what point they think their students are exposed to the education needed to safely perform the tasks and at what point they think the exemption should apply. They agreed to put this item on the agenda for the next meeting after hearing from the schools.
Also on the agenda was licensure for faculty at the 2 veterinary schools in California. Currently, faculty at these schools is exempt from licensure by statute. The VMB is under pressure to license the faculty as a method of protecting the public should there be a problem. There was a considerable difference of opinion among MDC members – some arguing that faculty should be required to be licensed just as all other practicing veterinarians are, while others argued that it was not reasonable to require a process that could end up losing the universities their best candidates. After much discussion, the MDC decided to consult with the deans from UC Davis and the Western University School of Veterinary Medicine and to revisit the subject at their next meeting.
The MDC approved several minor changes to the Minimum Standards for Small Animal Vaccination Clinics. They also approved small changes to the Veterinarian-Client-Patient –Relationship in the absence of client communications and Written Prescriptions in the absence of the originally prescribing veterinarian. They discussed that shelters should have new standards for vaccination when a veterinarian is not present and agreed to research the current status before proceeding.
The MDC is still planning to work with CVMA’s Task Force on Premise Permits, so action was postponed until after the Task Force meets.
During the Public Comment period, Nancy Ehrlich, RVT, CaRVTA’s Regulatory Advocate, informed the MDC that there are on-going problems with how the VMB is handling Alternate Route applications. She asked the VMB to take these problems seriously since the “ad hoc” or self-directed pathway is still in effect and will be for some time. She noted that CaRVTA gets frequent complaints that decisions are being made in an arbitrary manner that is inconsistent with how the regulation is supposed to be administered and that candidates feel they are not being treated fairly.
Vacancies on MDC
Annemarie DelMugnaio, the Executive Office of the VMB, reported that several MDC members’ terms are expiring on June 30. While some of them are eligible for re-appointment, she pointed out that the VMB would be accepting applications from interested parties. There will be openings for an RVT and for several veterinarians. The terms are for 3 years. The MDC meets 3-4 times per year. Anyone interested in applying for a position should send a letter of interest and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next meeting of the MDC was scheduled for July 20. The VMB’s next meeting will be on April 21-22 in Sacramento.
Research Survey Invitation
Licenced vet tech Peg Wheeler asks for your help:
"Dear Colleagues – My name is Peg Wheeler. I am a licensed veterinary technician and the Program Director for the new Veterinary Technology program at York County Community College in Wells, Maine. I’m also a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine where I am working on my capstone project for my Master’s Degree in Adult and Higher Education...
“my focus really is on the value of mentoring”
"...Working on my Masters as I build this program has been serendipitous as I’ve been able to support much of our program building through various projects in my program. I'm currently working on developing our practicum experiences and I’m designing my capstone project at USM to research how we can best structure practicum experiences for veterinary technology students and my focus really is on the value of mentoring. I believe, and I hope to illustrate through study and interviews, that a student that finds a good mentor as part of a practicum experience will have a more meaningful learning experience. I am writing to you in hopes of getting feedback from veterinary technicians about their educational experience. I have set up a survey through surveymonkey and here is the link. . I would deeply appreciate it if you could share this with any vet techs/graduates you think would be willing to participate. It is anonymous unless they wish to provide comments with names, etc.
In addition to completing the survey, I would love to hear any thoughts about what worked best or what didn’t work so well in the educational experiences of your members. Anyone who would like to contribute comments directly to me is welcome to email me at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your assistance and please let me know if you have questions!
Peg Wheeler LVT"
2015 IVECCS Website is LIVE!
The 2015 International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium (IVECCS) website is now LIVE!
IVECCS offers the highest-quality continuing education and is attended by the world's most progressive veterinarians, technicians and practice managers representing specialty/referral practice, general practice, academia, and research institutions.
The theme for IVECCS 2015 is "Respiratory Emergency & Critical Care" which will be integrated into the wide range of emergency and critical care topics included in the 400 hours of scientific program presentations. Great science and practical application are equally emphasized in our IVECCS program. Comprehensive Practice Management program included. No national meeting is more highly acclaimed!
This year our venue is the Gaylord National Harbor, a breathtaking setting on the banks of the historic Potomac River, minutes from the Washington DC monuments, museums and Old Town Alexandria. Seize the opportunity, come early, enjoy the area and participate in this powerful CE experience.
Click here for more information.
Southern California Veterinary Employee Survey
This 5 minute survey is for Southern California employees that work alongside veterinarians (DVMs). Your answers will help researchers investigate current DVM communication skills and veterinary employee job satisfaction.
Read instructions, and complete the survey, here.
New Veterinary Team Pay Report
DVM360 has published an article taking "a close look at what veterinary team members earn, how satisfied they are in their jobs, and whether they are sticking around in the profession."
Read about it here.
Call for Papers: ‘Best Practices in Veterinary Technology Education’
The Journal of AVTE (The Association of Veterinary Technician Educators) is accepting submissions for its inaugural issue.
VMB Report - January 20
The VeterinaryMedical Board (VMB) met on January 20, 2015 in Sacramento with all memberspresent except for Dr. Tom Kendall. New Board President, Dr. Mark Nunez,announced that Dr. Kendall had been diagnosed with advanced cancer. He thankedDr. Kendall for his dedication to the VMB and presented a plaque in his honor.
The VMB reported thatthe regulations for implementing the Pet Lovers License Plate program had beenrejected by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). In their rejectiondocument, the OAL stated that it was their opinion that the VMB did not havethe authority to delegate overseeing of the distribution of the funds collectedto another body. The plan all along had been for the VMB to oversee theprogram but for a non-profit to manage the distribution of the funds to theproviders of low cost spays and neuters. The VMB passed a motion to directstaff to work with the OAL to revise the regulation packet to meet the OALs’sobjections. Public Member Judie Mancuso and RVT Member Jennifer Loredo agreedto work with the staff.
The VMB made severalchanges to the Disciplinary Guidelines to more clearly define the types ofsupervision during probation. Among other changes, they also decreased theminimum days for suspension of a license to 30 days. The Guidelines areprimarily for the use by Administrative Law Judges when they are deciding onsentences for licensees.
The Board membersreviewed the language for regulations defining the parameters of AnimalRehabilitation (veterinary physical therapy). The VMB had already adoptedlanguage at a prior meeting, but Dr. Richard Sullivan proposed some changes tothe adopted language. The proposalbasically allows veterinarians to delegate the performance of Animal Rehab to alicensed Physical Therapist or an RVT under their Direct Supervision. TheVMB directed staff to rework the language of the proposal and to move forwardwith a Public Hearing in either April or July. A representative of thePhysical Therapy Association stated that their Association objects to therequirement for Direct Supervision and suggests that the VMB should be usingthe type of collaborative model used in human medicine.
The VMB reviewedupdated regulations of the Horse Racing Board that cover the protocol foradministering Lasix (furosemide) to race horses. Lasix is commonly givento horses prior to racing to prevent Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage. Inorder to prevent the administration of unauthorized drugs, the new regulationsprovide for a third party – not the horse’s regular veterinarian - toadminister the Lasix. The third partywould be another veterinarian or an RVT who does not have a business relationshipwith the owner or trainer. The VMB worked with the Horse Racing Board toinsure that the Veterinarian/Client/Patient Relationship (VCPR) would bemaintained with the new process.
The Board reviewedsome proposed amendments to laws that affect veterinary medicine that would beplaced in a large non-controversial Omnibus bill by the Department of ConsumerAffairs. They approved an amendment to the Veterinary Assistant ControlledPermit language that would provide for cancellation of the permit. They alsoapproved language for cancelling a Premise Permit f it was delinquent for 5years and cleared up language regarding licensees on probation.
A representative of avariety of CE providers – NAVC, WVC, and CVC - asked the VMB to considerincluding these groups in the list of statutorily approved providers so theydid not have to repeatedly go through the RACE or California approval process. The VMB informed him that they did not have the authority to change statutesand that he would have to approach the legislature for a statutory change. Theitem was tabled until the next meeting so that he could consult with theorganizations he represented.
The VMB is sendingout a survey to all stakeholders on its email list. The results of thesurvey will be used at the VMB’s upcoming Strategic Planning Session.Stakeholders will have until February 20 to respond to the survey. .Anyoneinterested in being on the VMB’s email list should go to:
Eric Mills fromAction for Animals asked for the VMB’s support for a change in the law thatrequires reporting of animal injuries at rodeos and charreadas (Mexican stylerodeos). There have been only 38 reports of injuries since 2002, whichappears to be an unbelievably low number considering how many rodeos andcharreadas are held in California each year. Current law requires aveterinarian to either be on-site or on-call and that the veterinarian file areport with the VMB for any animal requiring treatment for an injury. Mr. Mills proposed that the law be changedto require an on-site veterinarian or an on-site RVT with a veterinarianon-call. He believes that with an RVT on-site, many more injuries wouldreceive proper care. The VMB members were supportive of the proposal. JudieMancuso, Public Member, offered to work with Mr. Mills to find an author forthe bill.
The VeterinaryAssistant Controlled Drug Permit program is slated to begin operation on July1, 2015. However, the VMB still has not written regulations to implementthe new program. In order to get the program up and running on time, the VMBis planning to write file an emergency regulation packet which would allow forthe program to be up an running by July 1. Currently, veterinary assistantsmust be background checked prior to accessing controlled drugs. Once thepermit process is in place, they will be required to undergo fingerprinting,just like RVTs and DVMs, before being allowed to access controlled drugs.
California RVTschools have not been inspected since 2006. California approved schools aresupposed to be inspected every 4 years, at minimum. Currently, San DiegoMesa College is the only California approved RVT school – all the others are AVMAapproved - which eliminates the need for a California inspection unless thereis a problem. The California University of Management and Sciences has appliedto the VMB for California approval of its new veterinary technology program.The VMB has agreed to restart its inspection program and will arrange for aroutine inspection of the San Diego Mesa program and an initial inspection ofthe CUMS program.
Nancy Ehrlich, RVT, CaRVTA’sRegulatory/Legislative Advocate, pointed out that the VMB is required tomonitor the pass rates of all veterinary technology programs. Schoolswhose pass rate falls below 10% of the state average for first-time test takersfor 2 consecutive years are supposed to be put on probation. The VMB has notbeen following up on the pass rates to see if any schools meet the probation criteria. Nancy also pointed out that the schoolsare required to inform prospective students of their pass rates for the 2previous years. However, since the transition to the VTNE, the statistics onthe individual school pass rates on that exam have not been published, so theschools cannot inform their students appropriately. The VMB agreed to acquirethe VTNE pass rates for individual schools from the American Association ofVeterinary State Boards (AAVSB) and to publish the statistics on their website.
The VMB announcedthat they would soon start auditing mandatory CE. Approximately 10% oflicensees will be asked to provide proof that they attended the required CEhours. The AAVSB has a place on their web site where licensees can keep trackof their CE. It is free to veterinary personnel and would greatly assistanyone who is being audited. To take advantage of this feature, go to: aavsb.org/vcet.
The next meeting of the VMB will be on April 21-22 in San Francisco. Agenda items for the nextmeeting so far include:
- Statusreport on San Diego Mesa College inspection
- Reviewpass rates for veterinary technology programs
- ReviewCE audit process
- Discussoutreach – newsletter, web site, social media
- Reviewuse of term “minimum standards” vs. “standard of care” for disciplinary cases
- SunsetReport update
Job Fair for Foothill College Students and Alumni
Foothill College, in Los Altos Hills, is holding an Internship & Career Fair on the evening of February 4th. The fair is open to current and former Foothill College students. The doors of their Dining hall (Room 2201) open at 5:30 for registration and Networking. At 6:00 you'll hear about "Careers in Veterinary Medicine" from Dr. Julie Smith, the Medical Director at SAGE. The job fair will end at 8:00.
They ask that you RSVP and bring a copy of your resume to share with employers.
For additional information about this event they as that you email Phuong Tran at, email@example.com, or contact Dr. Lisa Eshman, Veterinary Technology Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (650) 949-7203.
Educational Opportunity in Florida
The University of Florida Small Animal Hospital is offering paid internships for graduate veterinary technicians. They are currently recruiting for the 2015-2016 academic year.
See this page on the university's website for details.
Anesthesia Free Teeth Cleaners Put Out of Business
Canine Care; Apollo Pet Care, Inc; and Cindy Collins accepted a stipulated final judgement and permanent injunction against performing anesthesia free teeth cleaning without a license. They were also ordered to pay $150,000 by the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa on October 16, 2014. There are 10 violations listed in the injunction. Ms. Collins had been a leader in the 'anesthesia free dentistry" movement.
For more details, see the Division of Investigation Media Release.
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.
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!