Do you like animals more than a lot of the people you know? Why not build a career taking care of them? As a Veterinary Assistant, you keep people’s pets safe and comfortable during exams and surgeries. You bathe and groom them when they stay overnight. And you help the veterinarian in the exam room and front office however you can.
What Does a Veterinary Assistant Do?
As a Veterinary Assistant, your goal is to take care of animals that are sick, injured, or in need of some routine care. You work under the guidance of a veterinarian to perform a variety of duties to protect the wellbeing of your furry friends:
- Bathe, groom, feed, and exercise animals
- Restrain animals during exams or surgeries
- Assist during exams and minor surgeries
- Administer immunizations and medications
- Monitor animals after surgery Perform first aid on injured animals
- Weigh animals and take their temperature
- Promote preventative pet health and nutrition
- Answer phones and set appointments
- Order, stock, and organize pet food and medical supplies
- Sterilize surgical instruments, tools, and equipment
- Clean and disinfect kennels and cages
- Maintain exam rooms
One of the most important responsibilities you have is to make your patients and those humans who tag along with them feel comfortable. You work to keep pets calm and ease the anxieties of pet owners by explaining what they can expect from the veterinarian. You may even teach them a few techniques to keep their animals calm during the car ride to the vet’s office, or teach them about proper nutrition and exercise for their pets. When animals are euthanized or go through major surgery, you can offer compassion and empathy to pet owners who are upset or grieving.
Where Do Vet Assistants Work?
Most Veterinary Assistants work in veterinarian offices, but you could also find work in animal hospitals or clinics. Scientific laboratories and universities also hire Veterinary Assistants to care for animals used in research. Your schedule can vary depending on your work setting. For example, if you work at a 24-hour animal hospital or at a laboratory, you may need to work evenings, nights, or weekends. You could also work a part-time or full-time schedule depending on your employer and your own availability.
How Can You Become a Veterinary Assistant?
To get the skills you need to work as a Veterinary Assistant, you can enroll in a training program that will teach you the fundamentals of animal care. You learn about animal anatomy and physiology, the diseases that can affect animals, and the medicines that they can and cannot take. You also learn about lab procedures, nursing, surgical assisting, and the laws and ethics that govern animal care. Your training program should include an externship at a local vet’s office as well as Fear Free Certification, which verifies that you know how to ease animals’ fears when they visit the vet.
What do you think? Do you want to work with some four-legged friends? Charter College offers a Certificate in Veterinary Assistant that can help you turn your passion for animals into a full-time career. Our program includes Fear Free Certification and can be completed in as few as 10 months. Classes are enrolling now. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.