Veterinary Assistant

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Professional Development Certificate

The Veterinary Assistant online program offered by Continuing Education at ECC prepares learners for a new career in the field of veterinary medicine. Participants will learn about the care of animals as well as how to recognize signs of illness and disease in a variety of animals from common pets to exotic species. This program also covers interpersonal communication, interaction with clients and their animals, as well as how to assist the veterinarian during examinations. Administrative duties, such as fee collection, banking, and accounts payable are also emphasized to provide learners with the skills necessary to maintain an efficient front office. This veterinary assisting course is a vital asset to learners who wish to work in this exciting and rewarding field.

Veterinary Assistant Profession

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for professional veterinary assistants will rise 39% by 2030. The employment of veterinary assistants and caretakers of laboratory animals is expected to grow 9% by 2030, faster than average for this occupation. As more and more Americans are adopting pets, the pet population continues to increase at a steady pace. Additionally, technological and medical advancements in veterinary medicine are helping to boost the level of care for pets at a cost that used to be out of reach, further contributing to the rising demand for veterinary medicine generally, and veterinary assistants in particular. The veterinary assistant can expect to obtain a position mainly in clinics, animal hospitals, and research laboratories but grooming facilities, pet daycares, and boarding facilities would be in need of individuals with these skills as well.

The Veterinary Assistant Program

This course provides students the opportunity to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in an entry-level position in the field of veterinary technology. This course covers the following key areas and topics:

  • Obtaining and recording patient information
  • Preparing patients, instruments, and equipment for surgery
  • Collecting samples and performing certain lab procedures
  • Dressing wounds; assisting in diagnostic and medical procedures
  • Skills to identify drugs by generic and brand names
  • Communicating with animal owners
  • Feeding and caring for animals

Educational Requirements

People interested in becoming Veterinary Assistants should have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

This program provides instruction and training in the Veterinary Assistant field. This course includes but is not limited to the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the care of animals as well as an understanding of the clerical/accounting duties necessary to maintain an efficient and competent front office.

Detailed Course Topics Covered

  • Explain how to dissect a medical term in terms of the prefix, a word root, combining forms, and suffixes
  • Define general medical terms and abbreviations used veterinary medicine
  • Define veterinary medical terms and abbreviations that apply to each body system including those for anatomy, physiology, diagnostic procedures, and pathological conditions
  • Define terms that describe body parts and anatomy specific to various species of animals
  • Define common terms that denote sex, age, birthing, grouping, and general descriptions of animals
  • Define veterinary medical terms and abbreviations associated with the examination, pharmacology, pathology, surgery, dissection, and laboratory procedures
  • Define specific veterinary terms and abbreviations used to describe canines, felines, equine, ruminants, swine, birds, and other species
  • Explain the foundations of veterinary practice in terms of ethical, legal, safety, practice management, and professional communication
  • Explain the concepts associated with veterinary diagnostics
  • Explain the concepts associated with veterinary therapeutics
  • Explain the concepts associated with animal nursing care and husbandry for different animal species