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 email@example.com.
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.
Report from the Veterinary Medical Board
VETERINARY MEDICAL BOARD MEETING 7/22-23/14
The Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) is seeking 10-12 new Hospital Inspectors for Fresno, Orange and San Diego Counties. RVT or DVMs who are interested in applying for the positions should go to: www.vmb.ca.gov/licensees/hosp_insp.shtml for more information and for an application.
Annemarie Del Mugnaio, the Executive Officer announced that Paul Sanchez, the former Assistant EO and Sandra Monterubio, who was formerly in charge of the Enforcement Unit, have both moved on to positions with other Boards. She also stated that instead of a new Assistant EO, she has created two new positions – Administration and Licensing Manager and Enforcement Manager. Ethan Mathes will fill the first position and Candace Ramey will fill the second. Ms Del Mugnaio also announced that Patti Rodriguez is now in charge of Hospital Inspectors.
Judie Mancuso, a Public Member on the VMB, announced that she had been reappointed to another 4-year term by the legislature.
Due to the new Veterinary Assistant Controlled Substance Permit program that will be going into effect in January 2015, the VMB has been given an increased budget allotment to hire more staff. It is anticipated that as many as 10,000 veterinary assistants could apply for the permits, which will be required if they are to access or administer controlled drugs. Currently, veterinary assistants who handle controlled drugs are required to be background checked. Once the new program goes into effect, veterinary assistants must be fingerprinted and shown to be free of convictions for drug abuse in order to get a permit. The VMB is currently conducting a survey of veterinary hospitals, trying to determine how many veterinary assistants might need a Controlled Substances Permit, but only 2% of hospitals have taken the survey. The survey can be found here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/VetAsst2014.
Ginny Matthews presented a report from Maximus, the company that works with the VMB and several other licensing Boards on their Diversion Programs. Veterinarians and RVTs who have alcohol, drug or mental issues that are interfering with their ability to practice safely are eligible to enter the Diversion Program. The VMB currently has only 2 licensees in the program – many fewer than expected. The need for more outreach about the program was discussed. RVTs or DVMs interested in learning more about the program can contact the VMB by calling 1-866-229-0170, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of June 30, 2014, 125 candidates have taken the new California RVT Law Exam. 66% of those candidates passed the exam. During the March-April testing window, 53 California candidates took the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). 70% of those candidates passed.
The VMB voted unanimously to support CaRVTA’s petition to establish the third week in October as California Veterinary Technician Week. The VMB will write a letter to Governor Brown supporting the concept, including asking CaRVTA to participate in the signing ceremony.
Dr. Tom Kendall reported that the American Association of State Boards (AAVSB) RACE Committee is developing standards to approve “non-scientific” CE. The RACE Committee has not been approving CE for complimentary medicine, like acupuncture, or management topics, due to their lack of a scientific basis. However, many veterinarians and RVTs are interested in learning more about Eastern medicine and other “non-scientific” topics, like management.
The VMB appointed David Johnson, RVT to another term on the Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC). Dr. Jeff Pollard was also appointed to fill the position formerly held by Dr. Oscar Chavez. The two appointees will join the MDC at their next meeting, which will be held on August 20 in Sacramento. The MDC will be reviewing the eligibility requirements for the Alternate Route to sit for the RVT exam at their next meeting. One of the considerations will be looking at the courses that candidates have been using to meet the current requirements to see if they are truly equivalent to graduation from an AVMA approved program.
Nancy Ehrlich, RVT, CaRVTA’s Regulatory/Legislative Liaison, encouraged the VMB to direct the MDC to separate discussion of the approval of Alternate Route programs from the discussion of eligibility requirements, since the two issues are not really related. She pointed out that while the discussion of eligibility requirements is very controversial and may take some time to come to a conclusion, approving Alternate Route programs is not controversial and could be done easily. She also pointed out that if these schools were approved, it would save the VMB staff and candidates a great deal of time. Carol Schumacher, RVT, Chair of the now dissolved RVT Committee, concurred with Nancy’s recommendation. However, the VMB declined to take any action.
The VMB approved the Animal Control Officer’s Training Manual that includes conditions for the use of tranquilizers by animal control officers under the supervision of a veterinarian. The manual was amended to require retraining and recertification every 4 years. The VMB also approved adding new language to the definition of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) to include the statement that “No person may practice veterinary medicine in the State except within the context of a VCPR. A VCPR relationship cannot be established solely by telephonic or electronic means”. The VMB felt this new statement was necessary due to the increase in the use of Telemedicine.
There was considerable discussion on the appropriate use of Premise Permits. It has become apparent that there needs to be a clear distinction between “ambulatory” and “mobile” practice – the former meaning the veterinarian drives to the location where veterinary services are to be provided and performs the service at the animal’s location. The latter means that the veterinarian has a mobile unit that (s)he drives to a location and the animal patient is brought to the mobile unit for care. Mobile units must meet certain standards and are subject to inspection. It is also not clear under current regulations if a veterinarian may perform veterinary services in locations like pet shops or grooming parlors that are not inspected if they possess a premise permit for another fixed location. The VMB is referring the clarification of the definitions to the MDC.
Eric Mills from Action for Animals informed the VMB that veterinarians are not making the reports of animal injuries at rodeos like they are required to do. He requested that the VMB look into what would be required to enforce the reporting requirement.
Meetings of the VMB and the MDC are now being broadcast on the internet. The meetings can be viewed live or archived after the meeting by going to: www.vmb.ca.gov/about_us/meetings.shtml and clicking on the link for the meeting date under “Webcasts”.
The VMB put the following issues on the agenda for their next meeting:
- Maximus/Diversion Committee - outreach
- Anesthesia Free Dentistry- what is the standard of care?
- Rodeo Reporting (?)
- Uniform Standards
- CPEI Regulations
- MDC Report, including Alternate Route issues and Animal Rehab
The next meeting of the VMB will be October 21-22 in Orange County. For details, see www.vmb.ca.gov.
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!