CERTIFIED VETERINARY TECHNICIANS AND
VETERINARY ASSISTANTS


§ 31.31. Scope of practice.

 (a)  Certified veterinary technicians. A certified veterinary technician may perform the duties enumerated in this subsection under direct veterinary supervision or indirect veterinary supervision as indicated. While some of the enumerated duties may be applicable primarily to small animal practices, the intended scope of this subsection is both large and small animal practices. This subsection does not prohibit the performance by a certified veterinary technician of a service which is not listed in this subsection if the service is within the certified veterinary technician’s skills, forms a usual component of the veterinarian’s scope of practice, and is requested by the supervising veterinarian. The veterinarian bears ultimate responsibility for assuring that the certified veterinary technician to whom a duty is assigned is competent to perform it.

   (1)  A certified veterinary technician may do the following only under direct veterinary supervision:

     (i)   Administer anesthesia—including induction, intubation, maintenance and recovery and intravenous sedation.

     (ii)   Perform dental prophylaxis.

     (iii)   Establish an open airway.

     (iv)   Administer resuscitative oxygen procedures.

     (v)   Administer external cardiac resuscitation.

     (vi)   Administer resuscitative drugs, in the event of cardiac arrest.

   (2)  Except as provided in paragraph (3), a certified veterinary technician may do the following under indirect veterinary supervision:

     (i)   Perform diagnostic imaging.

     (ii)   Perform intravenous catheterization.

     (iii)   Administer immunizations which are not required by law to be administered in the presence of a licensed veterinarian.

     (iv)   Administer and apply medications and treatments by routes, including intramuscular, intravenous and subcutaneous.

     (v)   Apply bandages.

     (vi)   Perform cardiac monitoring.

     (vii)   Perform appropriate procedures to control bleeding.

     (viii)   Apply splints or immobilizing bandages.

     (ix)   Perform ear flushing.

     (x)   Implant an electronic identification device.

   (3)  If an animal is under anesthesia, a certified veterinary technician may perform the services listed in paragraph (2) only under direct veterinary supervision.

   (4)  Emergency treatment by certified veterinary technicians is permitted without veterinary supervision when an animal has been placed in a life-threatening condition and immediate treatment is necessary to sustain the animal’s life. The certified veterinary technician shall immediately take steps to secure the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Emergency treatment may only consist of those duties enumerated under paragraphs (1) and (2).

 (b)  Noncertified employees. Noncertified employees may perform the duties enumerated in this subsection under direct veterinary supervision or immediate veterinary supervision, as indicated. While some of the enumerated duties may be applicable primarily to small animal practices, the intended scope of this subsection is both large and small animal practices. This subsection does not prohibit a noncertified employee from administering medication or rendering auxiliary or other supporting assistance which is not listed in this subsection if the service is within the noncertified employee’s skills and is requested by the supervising veterinarian. The veterinarian bears ultimate responsibility for assuring that the noncertified employee to whom a duty is assigned is competent to perform it.

   (1)  A noncertified employee may do the following under direct veterinary supervision:

     (i)   Perform ear flushing.

     (ii)   Perform dental prophylaxis.

     (iii)   Perform diagnostic imaging.

     (iv)   Perform intravenous catheterization.

     (v)   Administer immunizations which are not required by law to be administered in the presence of a licensed veterinarian.

     (vi)   Administer and apply medications and treatments by routes, including intramuscular, subcutaneous and previously catheterized vein.

     (vii)   Apply bandages.

     (viii)   Perform cardiac monitoring.

     (ix)   Perform appropriate procedures to control bleeding.

     (x)   Maintain anesthesia and monitor recovery from anesthesia.

     (xi)   Implant an electronic identification device.

   (2)  A noncertified employee may do the following only under immediate veterinary supervision:

     (i)   Administer anesthesia—including induction, intubation and intravenous sedation.

     (ii)   Establish an open airway.

     (iii)   Administer resuscitative oxygen procedures.

     (iv)   Administer external cardiac resuscitation.

     (v)   Administer resuscitative drugs, in the event of cardiac arrest.

   (3)  Emergency treatment by noncertified employes is permitted without veterinary supervision when an animal has been placed in a life-threatening condition and immediate treatment is necessary to sustain the animal’s life. The noncertified employe shall immediately take steps to secure the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Emergency treatment may only consist of those duties enumerated under paragraphs (1) and (2)(i)—(iv).

 (c)  Prohibited acts. Neither certified veterinary technicians nor noncertified employees may do the following:

   (1)  Perform surgery.

   (2)  Diagnose.

   (3)  Prognose.

   (4)  Prescribe, including treatments, medications or appliances.

   (5)  Attest to health status.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  31.31 amended under sections 3(10)(viii) and 5(2) of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act (63 P. S. § §  485.3(10)(viii) and 485.5(2)).

Source

   The provisions of this §  31.31 adopted January 12, 1979, effective January 13, 1979, 9 Pa.B. 154; amended December 22, 1995, effective December 23, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 5959; amended December 17, 2004, effective December 18, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 6650. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (301415) to (301416) and (287867) to (287868).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  31.39 (relating to grounds for disciplinary proceedings).



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