What You Need to Know…
Veterinarians alone are qualified to diagnose medical problems, prescribe therapies, and perform surgeries. Only currently licensed veterinarians may hold a permit to be the managing licensee at a veterinary facility.
Registered Veterinary Technicians
Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) are skilled animal nursing professionals who have completed a Board-approved education and training program and have passed a State-administered licensing examination. There are certain veterinary medical tasks that a veterinarian can delegate to an RVT, but only if the veterinarian has examined your pet first.
tip: An RVT must be under direct supervision by a veterinarian when working with an anesthetized animal.
Under direct supervision, an RVT may:
- Administer anesthesia
- Suture skin and oral tissue
- Extract teeth
- Apply a splint or cast
- Create a relief hole in the skin for placement of an intravascular catheter
Under indirect supervision, an RVT may:
- Operate radiographic equipment
- Perform specific emergency
- lifesaving procedures
- Administer medications
- Apply or change bandages
- Draw blood and run lab tests
Veterinarians' and RVTs' licenses must be posted in public view in the veterinary hospital. Veterinarians and RVTs who provide services away from a hospital should carry the pocket version of their license. You may ask to see the license before agreeing to any treatments.
Unlicensed staff may administer medications and provide other medical treatment under the direct or indirect supervision of a veterinarian or the direct supervision of an RVT, but are not allowed to perform tasks restricted to veterinarians or RVTs. They may not treat your pet outside a hospital setting.
tip: Unlicensed staff may operate radiographic equipment under direct supervision by a veterinarian or RVT if the staff has completed specific training, including radiation safety.
Additional staff at veterinary hospitals may include office managers, receptionists, and other administrative staff.