MOVTA'S POSITION STATEMENT RE: TITLE PROTECTION & ENFORCEMENT IN MISSOURI
Dear Veterinarians of Missouri:
My name is Stephanie Gilliam, RVTg, MS, CCRP, VTS (Neurology), the current legislative chairperson of the Missouri Veterinary Technician Association. I would like to call to your attention an issue that our membership of RVTs across the state have been struggling with for quite some time. Registered Veterinary Technicians are asking for your cooperation regarding title protection enforcement.
Did you know that Registered Veterinary Technicians (AS) and Technologists (BS) obtain degrees in veterinary technology or veterinary nursing from AVMA accredited programs where they study anatomy and physiology, clinical pathology, microbiology, diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, anesthesia, parasitology, and more? We are required to take the VTNE and the MO state board examination after we complete our schooling and then obtain our license from the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board. The education levels required to obtain each level of academic achievement within the field of veterinary technology are outlined below:
- Associate of Applied Science (2 years): Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)
- Bachelor of Science (4 years): Registered Veterinary Technologist (RVTg)
- Veterinary Technician Specialists (VTS): 7-9 years
We are also required to obtain 5 hours of continued education yearly, only 5 hours less than the number of hours required per year for veterinarians in Missouri. We also have standards we must uphold with the state to maintain our status within the profession and also to use our medical knowledge each day to the fullest extent of our capability.
The title RVT, Vet Tech, Veterinary Technician, Veterinary Technician Specialists, and Veterinary Technologist should be reserved for credentialed individuals as outlined in our veterinary practice act 340.200. (17) (21). The preservation and title protection of our Registered Veterinary Technicians, Technologists, and Veterinary Technician Specialists demonstrate appreciation for the level of care credentialed veterinary professionals can provide within their current scope of practice which includes several advanced technical duties that can be performed under the direct and indirect supervision of a veterinarian. Additionally, by differentiating these credentialed veterinary professionals from lay staff members we can promote full utilization of their education and skills and hopefully retain these valuable individuals within the veterinary profession to help veterinarians provide care to more patients without having to increase their operating hours.
It is within the scope of your practice to hire someone who is non-credentialed to work for you. However, on the job trained personnel should only be referred to as a Veterinary Assistant, Technician Assistant, or Kennel Assistant. Again, please reference the Missouri Veterinary Medical Practice Act, 340.200 (17) (21).
Stephanie Gilliam, RVTg, MS, CCRP, VTS (Neurology)
Legislative Chairperson, Missouri Veterinary Technicians Association