If you are one of those people who have a lifelong love for animals, why not consider a career path that is all about playing a vital role in the care of many different types of animals and pets? That’s where Veterinary Assistants come in. These animal-friendly pros are the backbone of a vet practice and provide essential support to veterinarians in a variety of ways. To help you gain a better understanding of what a future as a Veterinary Assistant looks like, let’s break it down.
What Does a Veterinary Assistant Do?
Veterinary Assistants are often the first person to communicate with clients in a veterinary practice. Some of the typical duties of a Veterinary Assistant include:
- Greeting clients and taking patient histories
- Recording weight and other vital signs
- Preparing exam rooms
- Cleaning kennels, cages, exam and operating rooms
- Assisting with sterilizing surgical equipment and instruments
- Monitoring and caring for animals after surgery
- Laboratory procedures and specimen collection
- Administrative support and appt. scheduling
What Kind of Training Do I Need?
Veterinary Assistant programs typically include training in laboratory procedures and sample collection, pharmacology, preparing animals for surgery and proper restraint techniques for blood draws, rectal exams and other procedure. You can also expect to learn how to perform various veterinary office administrative tasks, as well as client communication and education. Most programs can usually be completed in less than a year. However, advanced training such as that of a Veterinary Technician or Technologist will often require at least a 2-year associate degree.
Career Paths for Veterinary Assistants
It may surprise you to know that there are multiple career path options for Veterinary Assistants. There is the more obvious position working at a vet practice, but you can also find work in the following areas:
- Zoos and wildlife preserves
- Pet grooming
- Animal shelters and kennels
- Animal research facilities
- Pet food or product representative
If you’d like to learn more about a future in the world of Veterinary Assisting, check out the Veterinary Assistant Program at Caris College. Approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), the program features hands-on training in a working clinical lab, taught by instructors with real-world veterinary experience. Graduates are eligible to take the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) exam and upon passing, earn the AVA certification. For more information, contact us today.