January 28, 2017

What You Can and Cannot Do: Vet Techs

Mary Ellen Goldberg, BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRA, certified veterinary pain practitioner with VetMedTeam, LLC., describes what a veterinary technician can and cannot do to a patient without a rehabilitation veterinarian present. 
By American Veterinarian Editorial Staff
Mary Ellen Goldberg, BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRA, certified veterinary pain practitioner with VetMedTeam, LLC., describes what a veterinary technician can and cannot do to a patient without a rehabilitation veterinarian present.


 
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
 
“There are things that are encompassed in physical rehabilitation that any practice can do. What are examples of this? Any postoperative patient can undergo passive range of motion. They can be waking up from surgery, especially animals that are undergoing orthopedic procedures, they can have their limbs put through ranges of motion and they’re completely asleep—they’re still anesthetized waking up and you’re doing passive motion on them. You can massage them while they’re asleep or waking up from surgery, and you can use things like cryotherapy. So, icing, immediate postoperative icing, can be done for the first 48 hours every 6 to 8 hours, and it’s very beneficial for decreasing inflammation, reducing edema, helping things that would occur from a surgical procedure that’s been done on them. So, there are things you can do that you don’t have to be certified in physical rehabilitation to do.
 
If it’s anything that is going to be physical rehabilitation, the veterinary technician is not allowed to perform rehab exercises or things unless they’re under the direction of a rehabilitation veterinarian. The veterinarian, maybe they’re not directly in the room, and after they learn what the technician’s knowledge is, they can say, “Alright, these are the exercises I want you to perform. Document what’s done, what happens, and this way I’ll know.” If there’s not a rehabilitation veterinarian at the practice, it’s going to be a little difficult.
 
I will say at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in Florida where I graduated from, you’re encouraged to not work for anybody except a rehabilitation veterinarian. At the Rehabilitation School at the University of Tennessee, they have technicians that are allowed to work with the primary care veterinarian and perform rehabilitation therapy, but the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians would advise technicians to not be performing rehab unless they’re under the direct auspices of the rehab vet who is certified also.”
 

Sign up to receive the latest news in veterinary medicine.

Latest Issue

Client Education

American Veterinarian
 
`