The Veterinary Assistant feeds, waters, and examines pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. The Veterinary Assistant cleans and disinfects cages and work areas, and sterilizes laboratory and surgical equipment. The Veterinary Assistant may provide routine post-operative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.
Tasks for Veterinary Assistant
- The Veterinary Assistant monitors animals’ recovering from surgery and notifies veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
- The Veterinary Assistant cleans and maintains kennels, animal holding areas, examination and operating rooms, and animal loading/unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
- The Veterinary Assistant holds or restrains animals during veterinary procedures.
- The Veterinary Assistant administers medication, immunizations, and blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.
- The Veterinary Assistant provides emergency first aid to sick or injured animals.
- The Veterinary Assistant assistant’s veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
- The Veterinary Assistant cleans, maintains, and sterilizes instruments and equipment.
- The Veterinary Assistant performs routine laboratory tests or diagnostic tests such as taking and developing x-rays.
- The Veterinary Assistant administers anesthetics during surgery and monitors the effects on animals.
- The Veterinary Assistant prepares surgical equipment, and passes instruments and materials to veterinarians during surgical procedures.
Knowledge required for Veterinary Assistants
The Veterinary Assistant needs knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs, assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. The Veterinary Assistant needs knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. The Veterinary Assistant needs knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment. The Veterinary Assistant needs knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology. The Veterinary Assistant needs knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, disease, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health care measures.
Skill requirements for Veterinary Assistants
The Veterinary Assistant must give full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. The Veterinary Assistant must understand written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. They must also be able to speak to others in a manner in which they convey information effectively. The Veterinary Assistant must understand the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision making. They are often required to teach others on staff how to do things that will help with the care and maintenance of the animals. The Veterinary Assistant is expected to select and use training methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. They must also be able to manage time for themselves and the staff members that are under their supervision. The Veterinary Assistant uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. The Veterinary Assistant must always actively look for ways to help people and their pets.
Work Activities for Veterinary Assistant
The Veterinary Assistant is responsible to provide information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. The Veterinary Assistant must be able to use hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials and manipulating things. The Veterinary Assistant is responsible for getting information by observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. They must also be able to identify information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. The Veterinary Assistant provides personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as co-workers. The Veterinary Assistant must enter, transcribe, record, store, or maintain information in written or electronic/ magnetic form. The Veterinary Assistant performs for people or deals directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests in the office or clinic.