Veterinary Technician Schools in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has quite a detailed Practice Act for veterinary technicians, and Pennsylvania vet tech schools prepare graduates with all the skills they’ll need to operate within the prescribed guidelines. They have outlined specific tasks that can be done by certified veterinary technicians with varying degrees of supervision. There are three levels of supervision according to the Pennsylvania Code for veterinary technicians. Direct veterinary supervision means the veterinarian has to give either written or oral instructions or directions and remain on the premise and be easily available in the event they are needed. Immediate veterinary supervision applies only to noncertified employees and means the veterinarian is within visual and audible distance. The final level of supervision is indirect veterinary supervision. The veterinarian must have given oral or written instructions or directions, is familiar with the animal and the case having examined the patient, but does not need to be on premise.
According to the Pennsylvania Code there are certain tasks that only certified veterinary technicians can perform under direct supervision. For example, administer anesthesia, intubate a patient, perform resuscitative measures for respiratory and cardiac arrest, including the administration of medications of resuscitative nature. Other tasks that a certified veterinary technician can perform with indirect supervision include diagnostic imaging, placing intravenous catheters, administration of the vaccinations allowed by law, perform nursing measures on patients including administration of medications by all routes, application of bandages, ear cleaning, electronic device placement and hemorrhage control. Certified veterinary technicians are allowed to perform treatments to save an animal’s life, if the animal is in a life threatening situation. The veterinarian need not be present on premise, but must be contacted as soon as possible. Noncertified personnel may perform some of the same tasks, but with different levels of supervision. In either case, neither credentialed veterinary technicians nor noncertified employees may perform surgery, diagnose disease or conditions, prognose a patient’s condition, prescribe medication or any curative/treatments or confirm a patient’s state of health.
Another commendable portion of the Veterinary Practice Act is the Code of Ethics that has been established. Included in that Code is the following as it applies to Veterinary Technicians:
- A veterinary technician may not accept any fees for services other than from their employer.
- Veterinary technicians are required to inform clients of their professional title.
- A veterinary technician is allowed to only perform those tasks/treatments which the veterinarian orders or authorizes.
- Veterinary technicians are not allowed to perform any task/skill for which they have not received appropriate training.
- Veterinary technicians shall not break the confidentiality of clients / doctor relationship.