The field of veterinarian medicine is vast and has several different levels of training, experience and job titles. A veterinary assistant is one of these job titles, and you can get training even in high school. However, many veterinary assistants choose to get their training through a distance learning course. You don’t need to graduate from a NAVTA approved program, but it’s always an option should you choose to go that route.
What Does a Veterinary Assistant Do?
There is a difference between a veterinary technician and a veterinary assistant. A veterinary technician is a step up from an assistant in that they are the “nurses” or “lab technicians” in a veterinarian environment. They have official training and licensing from a qualified provider.
An assistant is the starting point for any applicant who wants to get into the world of veterinary medicine. You don’t need any licensing and training is at a beginner level. You still need some kind of training unless you are fortunate enough to get training on the job by a qualified veterinarian. An online distance course can be a good starting point for someone who wants to get into veterinarian medicine but doesn’t have the qualifications or experience to get their foot in the door.
Training and Courses
NAVTA has recently released a program for veterinary assistants, but it’s not necessary to get into the field. It’s a good option, but a distance learning class can give you the same type of training that you need to work in the field.
A veterinary assistant should expect to do low-level jobs to get them acquainted with the veterinary environment and what needs to be done to care for the pets.
You can expect to assist a technician and a veterinarian in a variety of duties. You can help groom the pets, assist the veterinarian during examinations, and walk them if the veterinarian’s office has any type of boarding. You might be responsible for sterilizing equipment and assisting during surgical procedures or emergency situations when the pet must be revived. As an aside, a vet assistant only works with non-farm animals. Caring for farm animals is a separate field from basic pet assistance.
You can’t completely understand many of the emergency situations in your career, but an online distance learning course gives you the basics so that you can start learning on the job. This training is much more valuable in the field than applying to veterinary assistant positions with no experience and no training.
If you love animals and want to get into the field, an online distance learning course is a small commitment and upfront effort to get started. It’s one field that has a promising future since you can move up into other, more advanced positions as you gain training and educational experience. This career is always in demand, and you can get a head start with an online course.
Interested in learning more about a career in veterinary training? Download our guide to Veterinary Assistant Training below!