Vet Assistant Job Description: What Does a Veterinarian Assistant Do?

When we speak about veterinary assistants who are inevitable parts of any veterinary facility, we have to mention that those are people educated and trained to care for animals under the supervision of a veterinarian or veterinary technician.

Their daily duties are feeding, bathing, and exercising the animals, as well as restraining them during examinations and treatment.

Vet assistants sometimes might be allowed to perform lab work, such as drawing blood and collecting urine samples.

Veterinary Assistant Duties & Responsibilities

We decided to list all Veterinary Assistant Duties and Responsibilities that he/she has to perform during one day.

Veterinary assistants tasks are the following:

  • Feeding animals and monitoring whether they are eating or not
  • Bathe animals
  • Exercise them
  • Assist veterinarians and vet technicians when necessary
  • Clean, sterilize, and maintain kennels, operating rooms, examining rooms, cages, and surgical equipment.
  • Restraining pets during examinations
  • Provide first aid to pets in an emergency
  • Stabilizing animal conditions until a veterinarian can take over.
  • Administer medications
  • Perform some clerical duties.

Veterinary hospitals and clinics employ most veterinary assistants.

However, this is not the only place where they can find work.

There are employed vet assistants in colleges, universities, and research programs.

Veterinary Assistant Salary

Each person is interested in finding out how much he/she will earn for the job he/she performs.

When Veterinary Assistant Salary is in question, the amount of money they earn varies depending on the facilities they work, duties they perform, and the region where the facility is located.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who work at colleges and professional schools are the most highly paid.

  • Median Annual Salary: $27,540 ($13.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $38,890 ($18.70/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $19,950 ($9.59/hour)

Education, Training & Certification

So as to be able to earn the salary, you will need to pass the quality education, training and get the certification.

Even though veterinary assistant occupation does not require advanced education, you will need the appropriate training.

Future veterinary assistants will need to possess a high school or equivalency diploma to get a job.

A good thing to know is that they do not need to attend a postsecondary program in veterinary technology.

When the training is in question, there are many employers that provide on-the-job training, while, at the same time, there are those who will only hire individuals who have prior experience working with animals.

Veterinary Assistant Skills & Competencies

What you will learn during the training are the required and preferable Veterinary Assistant Skills and Competencies.

First, you will need to have some personal qualities with which you were either born or which you have acquired through your life.

Listening skills are essential to understand and follow veterinarians’ and veterinary technicians’ instructions, as well as to talk to upset animal owners.

Another great quality is the ability to notice changes in animals’ conditions and be ready to take appropriate action.

Also, veterinary assistants must possess a strong desire to help others, as well as be able to identify and solve problems they may encounter.

Critical thinking is another excellent skill that veterinary assistants should have.

People who possess this skill are able to determine his/her options are when making decisions, evaluate them, and choose the one with the most promising outcome.

Veterinary assistants must remain calm in the chaotic environment which is typical of the veterinary facility.

Last, but not least, veterinary assistants have to be able to lift heavy objects and animals, so being fit would be a great advantage.

Job Outlook and Work Environment

Upon receiving the training, especially if you possess the above-mentioned requirements, you are an ideal match for the veterinary assistant profession.

Furthermore, you do not need to worry about your chance of getting a job, as this occupation has an outstanding job outlook.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics predictions, employment in this field will grow much faster than the average for all occupations at about 19%.

The greatest advantage is that veterinary assistants can work in numerous facilities.

It can be a veterinary office, school, or in research, kennels, outdoor enclosures, labs, and operating rooms.

You must expect that some of the animals might be aggressive or frightened.

This means that you will be exposed to the risk of being bitten or scratched.

That is why it is important to wear protective clothing and gear which can help prevent injuries.

The work can sometimes be sad and unpleasant in case you need to assist veterinarians when they euthanize animals and dispose of remains.

Then, your task will be to offer consolation and encouragement to owners.

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