(a) In order to obtain a license as a veterinary technician, the applicant shall do all of the following:
(1) Submit a complete notarized application on a form prescribed by the board setting forth that the applicant meets all of the following qualifications:
a. At least 18 years of age.
b. Of good character.
c. Has attained a competent school education and has received a diploma in veterinary technology from an American Veterinary Medical Association accredited school, or other school of veterinary technology approved by the board.
(2) Submit an application accompanied by an authenticated copy of the college transcript of the applicant signed by the dean or the registrar of the school, college, or university.
(3) Submit an application accompanied by a photograph of reasonable likeness of the applicant taken within six months of the date of the application.
(4) Submit an application fee as prescribed by the board.
(b) Notification and penalty for nonrenewal of licenses for veterinary technicians shall be applied as provided in this article for veterinarians.
(c) The board may adopt the Veterinary Technician National Examination and passing criteria prepared by the Professional Examination Service (PES), or any other veterinary technician national examination as the sole veterinary technicians examination or in addition to a state examination at its discretion.
(1) Examination of applicants for licensing as veterinary technicians in Alabama shall be held at a time, place, and date set by the board. Appropriate public notice of the time and place of the examination shall be given at least 90 days in advance of the date set forth for the examination.
(2) A passing score on the AVMA approved National Licensing Examination shall be determined by the professional examination provider based on a national criteria which reflects a passing score of at least 70 percent. Each applicant who passes the examination and meets all other requirements for licensure prescribed by the board shall be granted a license as a veterinary technician and shall be registered as such and a record kept by the board, and shall receive a license in a form to be prescribed by the board.
(d) There shall be an annual renewal of each veterinary technician's license and the renewal fee established and published by the board.
(e) The supervising veterinarian may require a licensed veterinary technician to perform any task for which he or she has been trained as delineated in the American Veterinary Medical Association's essential tasks list for veterinary technician teaching programs. The following tasks may be performed under the level of supervision indicated unless specifically prohibited by regulation and the supervision shall be under a licensed veterinarian currently registered to practice in this state, provided the veterinarian makes examinations in a manner and frequency consistent with the accepted standard of care for the condition of the patient and for the condition being treated:
(1) A licensed veterinary technician may perform the following tasks under the indirect supervision of a veterinarian. If the animal is anesthetized, these tasks shall require the direct supervision of a veterinarian:
a. Dental prophylaxis.
d. Application of bandages.
e. Catheterization of the unobstructed bladder and inserting indwelling catheter.
g. Ear flush.
h. Surgical site preparation.
i. Diagnostic imaging:
1. Patient preparation and positioning.
2. Operation of X-ray and ultrasound machines.
3. Oral and rectal administration of radio-opaque materials.
j. Injections of medications not otherwise prohibited:
k. Oral medications.
l. Topical medication.
1. Collection of tissue during or after a veterinarian has performed necropsy.
5. Exfoliative cytology.
7. Blood chemistry.
n. Administration of preanesthetic drugs.
o. Oxygen therapy.
p. Removal of partially exposed foreign objects from skin and feet.
q. Removal of sutures.
s. Administration of immunological agents.
t. Blood collection for diagnostic purposes.
v. Placement of a device to allow vascular access.
w. Handling of biohazardous waste materials.
(2) A licensed veterinary technician may perform the following tasks under the direct supervision of a veterinarian:
a. Endotracheal intubation.
b. Blood administration and collection.
c. Fluid aspiration.
d. Intraperitoneal injections.
e. Assist during surgery and diagnostics and treatment procedures.
f. Monitoring of vital signs of anesthetized patient.
g. Application of splints.
h. Induce anesthesia by intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous injection, or by inhalation.
i. When the animal is anesthetized, those tasks listed under subdivision (1).
j. Suturing skin lacerations, the site shall be examined by a veterinarian prior to and following suture.
(3) An unlicensed assistant may perform the following tasks under the indirect supervision of a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician:
a. Blood collection for diagnostic purposes.
b. Fecal sample collection.
c. Surgical site preparation.
d. Administration of previously prescribed medications: Opthalmic, otic, oral, topical, or parenteral.
e. Handling of biohazardous waste materials.
(4) An unlicensed assistant may perform the following tasks under the immediate supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a licensed veterinary technician:
a. Blood collection and administration.
b. Placement of a device to allow vascular access.
d. Diagnostic imaging:
1. Patient preparation and positioning.
2. Film exposure.
3. Oral and rectal administration of radio-opaque materials.
e. Intravenous injections of medications not otherwise prohibited.
f. Exfoliative cytology preparation.
g. Application of bandages.
h. Ear flush.
j. Removal of sutures.
l. Assist during surgery and diagnostics.
m. Place endotracheal tube.
(f) Under the conditions of an emergency, a licensed veterinary technician may render the following lifesaving aid and treatment:
(1) Application of tourniquets or pressure bandages, or both, to control hemorrhage.
(2) Administration of pharmacological agents and parenteral fluids shall only be performed after direct communication with a veterinarian authorized to practice in this state and the veterinarian is either present or in route to the location of the distressed animal.
(3) Resuscitative respiratory procedures.
(4) External cardiac massage.
(5) Application of temporary splints or bandages to prevent further injury to bones or soft tissue.
(6) Application of appropriate wound dressings and external supportive treatment in severe burn cases.
(g) Any persons licensed or certified pursuant to this article who gratuitously and in good faith give emergency treatment to a sick or injured animal at the scene of an accident or emergency shall not be liable for damages to the owner of the animal in the absence of gross negligence.
(h) Any licensed veterinary technician who in good faith renders or attempts to render emergency care at the scene of an accident or emergency to the human victim or victims thereof shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission by the person in rendering or attempting to render the emergency care.
(i) Any veterinary technician shall display his or her license at his or her place of employment as to be easily accessible to the public or his or her clients.
(j) The board shall revoke the license of any veterinary technician convicted of or pleading nolo contendere to a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or who is guilty of one or more of the following:
(1) Soliciting patients from any practitioner of the healing arts.
(2) Willfully or negligently divulging a professional confidence or discussing a diagnosis or treatment of a veterinarian without the express permission of the veterinarian.
(3) The habitual or excessive use of intoxicants or drugs.
(4) Fraud or misrepresentation in applying for or procuring a license to perform as a veterinary technician or in applying for or procuring an annual registration.
(5) Impersonating another person licensed as a veterinary technician or allowing any person to use his or her license as a technician.
(6) Abetting or aiding the practice of veterinary medicine by a person not licensed by the board.
(7) Gross negligence in the performance of duties, tasks, or functions assigned to him or her by a licensed veterinarian.
(8) Manifest incapability or incompetence to perform as a veterinary technician.
(k) The board may revoke or suspend any license which they may have issued for violation of this article relating to the practice of veterinary medicine or the conduct of veterinary technicians, or both, for the violation of the administrative code of the board after notice and hearing proceedings, as provided by Section 34-29-79. Appeals from any adverse action of the board under this section shall be made to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County.
(l) Any veterinarian who permits a veterinary technician to work and perform the duties of a licensed technician in his or her office without having been issued a license or any licensed veterinary technician working in a veterinary office without a license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing, however, in this article shall be construed to prevent a student of veterinary technology from performing duties necessary to complete course requirements from an accredited school or college of veterinary technology while under the supervision of a competent instructor of veterinary medicine recognized by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
(m) A minimum number of hours of continuing education shall be required yearly for license renewal as provided by the administrative code of the board.
(n) Graduates of veterinary technology programs not accredited by the AVMA may become eligible for licensure by meeting all of the requirements of the AVMA and successfully passing the AVMA approved veterinary technician licensing examination.