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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 24TEXAS BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICAL EXAMINERS
CHAPTER 573RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
SUBCHAPTER BSUPERVISION OF PERSONNEL
RULE §573.10Supervision of Non-Veterinarians

(a) With appropriate supervision and after establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, a veterinarian may delegate veterinary care and treatment duties to non-veterinarian employees, or to the following independent contractors:

  (1) licensed equine dental providers, in accordance with §573.19 of this title (relating to Dentistry); or

  (2) individuals performing any form of musculoskeletal manipulation, including but not limited to animal chiropractic, in accordance with §573.14 of this title (relating to Alternate Therapies--Chiropractic and Other Forms of Musculoskeletal Manipulation).

(b) A veterinarian shall determine when general, direct, or immediate supervision of a non-veterinarian's actions is appropriate, except where such actions of the non-veterinarian may otherwise be prohibited by law. A veterinarian shall consider whether the individual is licensed by the Board, as well as the level of training and experience of the non-veterinarian, when determining the level of supervision and duties of non-veterinarians.

(c) A veterinarian is subject to discipline if he or she improperly delegates care and/or treatment duties to a non-veterinarian, or fails to properly supervise the non-veterinarian performing delegated duties.

(d) When feasible, a veterinarian should delegate greater responsibility to a licensed veterinary technician than to an unlicensed person.

  (1) Veterinary supervision of licensed veterinary technicians:

    (A) Under the direct or immediate supervision of a veterinarian, a licensed veterinary technician may:

      (i) suture to close existing surgical skin incisions and skin lacerations;

      (ii) induce anesthesia; and

      (iii) in dogs and cats, extract loose teeth or dental fragments with minimal periodontal attachments by hand and without the use of an elevator.

    (B) Except where otherwise prohibited by law, under general veterinary supervision, a licensed veterinary technician may:

      (i) draw blood; and

      (ii) take samples for purposes of testing and diagnosis.

  (2) Veterinary supervision of unlicensed employees:

    (A) Under the immediate supervision of a veterinarian, an unlicensed employee of a veterinarian may:

      (i) suture to close existing surgical skin incisions and skin lacerations; and

      (ii) induce anesthesia.

    (B) An unlicensed employee of a veterinarian may perform other tasks assigned by the supervising veterinarian under a level of supervision determined by the supervising veterinarian.

    (C) An unlicensed employee may not, under any level of veterinary supervision, extract loose teeth or dental fragments from a dog or cat.

(e) Under the immediate supervision of a licensed veterinary technician, an unlicensed employee of a veterinarian may:

  (1) suture to close existing skin incisions and skin lacerations;

  (2) induce anesthesia;

  (3) draw blood;

  (4) take samples for the purpose of testing and diagnosis and;

  (5) perform other tasks in veterinary medicine, not otherwise prohibited by other subsections of this section or other laws, as assigned by the supervising veterinarian and according to a protocol established by the supervising veterinarian.

(f) A non-veterinarian shall not perform the following health care services:

  (1) surgery;

  (2) invasive dental procedures except as allowed for licensed equine dental providers under §573.19 of this title, and as allowed for licensed veterinary technicians under subsection (d)(1) of this section;

  (3) diagnosis and prognosis of animal diseases and/or conditions;

  (4) prescribing drugs and appliances; or

  (5) initiate treatment without prior instruction by a veterinarian, except in an emergency without expectation of compensation.

(g) Euthanasia may be performed by a non-veterinarian only under the immediate supervision of a veterinarian.

(h) A non-veterinarian may administer a rabies vaccine only under the direct supervision of a veterinarian, and only after the veterinarian has properly established a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

(i) The use of a veterinarian's signature stamp or electronic signature pad on an official health document by a non-veterinarian shall be authorized only under the direct supervision of the vaccinating veterinarian.

(j) Exception for Emergency Care. In an emergency situation where prompt treatment is essential for the prevention of death or alleviation of extreme suffering, a veterinarian may, after determining the nature of the emergency and the condition of the animal, issue treatment directions to a non-veterinarian by means of telephone, electronic mail or messaging, radio, or facsimile communication. The Board may take action against a veterinarian if, in the Board's sole discretion, the veterinarian uses this authorization to circumvent this rule. The veterinarian assumes full responsibility for such treatment. However, nothing in this rule requires a veterinarian to accept an animal treated under this rule as a patient under these circumstances.

(k) Exception for Care of Hospitalized Animals. A non-veterinarian may, in the absence of direct supervision, follow the oral or written treatment orders of a veterinarian who is caring for a hospitalized animal, so long as the veterinarian has examined the animal(s) and a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship exists.


Source Note: The provisions of this §573.10 adopted to be effective June 14, 2012, 37 TexReg 4229; amended to be effective December 25, 2012, 37 TexReg 9935; amended to be effective August 29, 2013, 38 TexReg 5486; amended to be effective May 4, 2014, 39 TexReg 3424

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