October 2019

Veterinary Technicians Week: October 13-20th 
VBA would like to extend our thanks to Veterinary Technicians for all their hard work! 
In This Issue
The Veterinary Nurse 

Originally Published in 
Today's Veterinary Nurse
August 2019

The  Veterinary Nurse Initiative  (VNI), which seeks to unite the veterinary technician profession under a single veterinary nurse title, standardize credentialing requirements and define scope of practice, continues to make progress despite some challenges, including resistance from the human health nursing profession, say those who are leading the call for change.

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule

On January 1, 2020, new overtime laws will go into effect. The federal government has increased the earnings threshold to exempt employees from overtime pay. An estimated 1.3 million executive, administrative, and professional employees will now be eligible for overtime.
Earnings thresholds will be increased to $684/week or $35,568/year. This number is up from the previous $455/week or $23,600/year, which has been in effect since 2004. The new rule also allows employers to include up to 10% of certain bonuses and incentives which are paid at least annually to employees. Employers are given one catch-up bonus payment within one payment period of the end of the year to achieve exemption for employees who did not meet their 10%.
It's important to be aware that the Department of Labor intends to revise overtime rules more regularly in the future to account for wage growth and to reduce the disruptive resulting from infrequent but large corrections. We can look forward to many new exemption notices in the future!
VBA Culture Improvement Plan

If you've owned, managed or worked at a particular veterinary practice for any length of time, you may be so used to the workplace culture of the practice that you can't effectively define it, much less analyze its strengths and weaknesses. VBA's on-site Culture Improvement planned is designed to examine the assumptions, values and beliefs shared by people in the practice. We work with you to develop the healthiest culture possible for your practice, where the veterinary practice and individual members of the team can thrive and grow, and where the best service possible is offered to clients and their companion animals.

National Veterinary Technician Week:
October 13-20th 

Don't forget to thank your veterinary technicians this week! Technicians always put the client and pet first, and go above and beyond to ensure their comfort. Let's face it- they keep your practice running smoothly. Be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them this week.

Find fun printable notes to show your staff they are appreciated on the DVM360 website.

Low-cost Fixes to Prevent OSHA Violations

By: Anna-Marie Struble, VBA Extern

Does the phrase OSHA violations cause you to shudder in fright? OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, should not be a scary monster - it exists to ensure you and your employees stay safe in the workplace. Slay the monster with some of these low-cost fixes to common violations.

Maintain easily accessible safety data sheets on all chemicals.
Did you know that your distribution representative has electronic copies of all safety data sheets for products they sell? Take five minutes to ask them to email those over, then put the sheet in a folder on every computer's desktop.

Required Posters
All required posters can be obtained for free from OSHA! Make sure you check what other posters are required in your state and see if those posters are also provided free of charge. You can find OSHA posters at this link: https://www.osha.gov/publications/poster.ht

Drink Station
At your next employee meeting, ask the staff to decide on a safe location for drinks. It should be convenient but as far away from animal and laboratory areas as possible. Then, purchase some stylish washi paper tape or fun paint and have a team building activity to define the new space.
Secondary Labels
Containers of chemicals that you or your staff refills from the manufacturer's container must be labelled. Once you have your safety data sheets, it will only take a few minutes to make a label. Consider using waterproof printable labels, a laminated piece of paper, or purchased pre-printed labels specific to your chemicals. It can seem daunting to find and label every bottle of alcohol or jar of scrub, but why not try turning it into a game of scavenger hunt bingo with the staff? Many hands make light work.
Some OSHA fixes are easier, cheaper, and faster than others. If you need to establish or rejuvenate your training and reporting programs, we are here to help. Just get in touch with our human resources gurus to find the right solution for you!
VBA HR Webinars


VBA is proud to present our new Practice Management Webinar Series. We know how challenging it can be to manage a veterinary practice. Some days it seems virtually impossible to find the time to do anything else, including your continuing education.  We decided it was time to put together a webinar series that could not only satisfy your desire to keep learning, but also give you some practical help with the day to day adventures of managing a busy veterinary practice.  Our webinar series will include everything from the major legal issues, right down to the small daily mishaps that occur in a typical practice. 

Click Here for More Dates and Info

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