Vet techs are an important part of the veterinary team, but they cannot prescribe medication. Learn more about the vet tech scope of practice and what these professionals can do.
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In the United States, there are currently three states that allow vet techs to prescribe medication: Colorado, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. In Colorado and New Mexico, vet techs can prescribe medication under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, while in Rhode Island, they can prescribe medication independently.
What Does a Vet Tech Do?
A veterinary technician is a professional who is specially trained to work with animals in a veterinary setting. They are sometimes referred to as a “vet tech” for short. A vet tech’s job duties might include preparing animals and equipment for surgery, taking x-rays, administering anesthesia, assisting the veterinarian during exams and surgeries, and much more.
In some states, vet techs are allowed to prescribe medication under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. This means that the vet tech is able to write and fill prescriptions for certain medications that are used to treat animals. The vet tech is not allowed to diagnose or treat an animal without the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
The Different Types of Vet Techs
There are different types of vet techs, and each has a different area of focus. For example, there are general practice vet techs, who work in small animal clinics and provide basic care for pets. There are also specialty vet techs, who work in specific areas like emergency care, surgery, or dentistry.
Can a general practice vet tech prescribe medication?
In most states, general practice vet techs cannot prescribe medication. This is because they are not licensed medical professionals. However, they can dispense medications that have been prescribed by a licensed veterinarian.
What Does a Vet Tech Need to Prescribe Medication?
In order to prescribe medication, a vet tech must have a valid prescription from a licensed veterinarian. The tech must also be certified by the state in which they practice. In order to become certified, a vet tech must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of pharmacology and pharmacy law.
Can a Vet Tech Prescribe Medication in All States?
The ability for a vet tech to prescribe medication may vary from state to state. In some instances, a vet tech may be able to prescribe medication under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian, while in other states vet techs may not be able to prescribe medication at all. It is important to check with your state’s Board of Veterinary Medicine to see what the requirements are for prescribing medication as a vet tech.
The bottom line is that, in most cases, a vet tech cannot prescribe medication. However, there may be some circumstances in which a vet tech may be able to do so, but this would generally require the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. If you have any questions about whether or not your vet tech can prescribe medication, it is best to check with your state’s licensing board or with the American Veterinary Medical Association.