What Does a Veterinary Assistant Do?
Animals, whether household pets or livestock, play major roles in the lives of many people. When they become ill or are in need of medical help, it is the job of trained medical staff to provide them with the necessary treatment and care. As a Veterinary Assistant you can combine a love of animals, an interest in science and medicine and a desire to help animals in need.
Northcoast Medical Training Academy located in Kent, Ohio, offers the student a comprehensive veterinary assistant program with a balance between classroom education and hands-on training. A passion for and a confidence around animals is required along with good decision-making and communication skills.
The job itself entails many duties, both administrative and clinical. Primarily, a Veterinary Assistant is there to provide support and assistance to Veterinarians during procedures and to help facilitate the flow of animal patients through the veterinary practice. Additional job responsibilities may include:
· Medical record keeping
· Laboratory test performance, such as blood, urine and fecal screenings
· Preparation of animal patients for surgery or examination
· Medication and fluid administration, as well as medication dispensing
· Animal teeth cleanings
· Maintenance of a clean and sanitary facility, including sanitizing surgical and examination tools
· Grief counseling for pet owners
· Animal handling and restraining
The Veterinary Assistant Program at Northcoast Medical Training Academy is broken down into four 10 week quarters. The first quarter focus is mainly on felines, with an introduction to animal care, handling and restraining, veterinary terminology; the student will also have hands-on instruction with cats from the APL. (animal protective league). The second quarter students will switch their focus to canines, with instruction time in nutrition and reproduction, history and exam procedures, emergency care, hands-on instruction with dogs by participating in our nails and tails program. The third quarter has a focus on animals from equine to reptiles, surgical and anesthetic preperation, basic veterinary pharmacology, radiology/ultrasound instruction, and on Thursday’s students will job shadow. The fourth quarter is a 10 week externship which is 180 hrs, the director of the Veterinary Assistant program will get all students placed for this part of their training.
Following Veterinary Assistant Training, there are many opportunities for employment. Most often, graduates seek jobs at private Veterinary Practices and hospitals, research laboratories or animal shelters. Other job opportunities can be found at zoos, pet shops, or farms.