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Everyone knows what a veterinarian does: they take care of animals.
Some specialize in taking care of domesticated animals. Others specialize in taking care of exotic animals or competition animals.
Additionally, a veterinarian is tasked with knowing how to medically care for a wide variety of animals.
So what does a veterinary assistant do? A veterinary assistant is there to assist the veterinarian in treatment.
They work under the direction of either the veterinarian or the veterinary technician. As a result, they are there to do a variety of tasks that make it easier for their superiors, the veterinarian, and veterinary technician.
Here are a few tasks that a veterinary assistant will commonly perform:
Keeping Animals Secure
When animals come to the vet’s office, they may not react well.
Some animals do not want to sit still, some will react defensively, some just won’t cooperate at all. A veterinary assistant will spend a lot of their time, especially early on in their career, holding down animals while they’re given shots, while blood is being drawn, and while they’re being fed medication.
Almost any trip to the vet starts with finding out if your animal is gaining or losing weight, and figuring out if they’re on target for their species and breed as far as their weight.
If you’ve spent any time in your local vet’s office, you may have seen that it’s a struggle to get dogs, cats, and other animals to stay still on the weight long enough to be able to get an accurate measurement.
This is where a vet assistant comes in, to make sure that the weight is right and accurate.
Some animals that come to a vet’s office need a wash before a procedure.
If the animal is going to be undergoing some sort of surgery, especially, it may be in need of a wash before they can perform the surgery (as well as a shave of the area the surgery will take place upon).
In some veterinary offices, it is standard to wash a pet if they’re going to be there for any length of time, and that is the work of a veterinary assistant.
Drawing Blood And Collecting Samples
Because a pet cannot tell you what is wrong with them, a diagnosis of many issues is reliant upon the drawing of blood and the collection of urine or stool samples.
That means that when a pet comes in, the veterinary assistant will need to draw blood for testing, and may even need to wait for the animal to produce a stool sample for later testing.
This is not glamorous, but it is important to make sure that the animal can receive an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Administering Medicine And Vaccinations
Most of the time, a veterinary technician will administer vaccinations. Many vets try to avoid administering them because it has a negative impact on their interaction with their animal patients. Sometimes, that duty will fall to a veterinary assistant.
As far as administering medicine goes, it is often a much simpler process. Get the animal to consume medication, often hidden in food, and you’ve given them their first dose of medicine.
This list is just some of the most common tasks a veterinary assistant will perform. If you’re interested in that kind of life, and if you have a love for animals that can survive having to draw blood and collect their stool samples, then you may want to look into a correspondence course to help you kickstart your career as a veterinary assistant.
Tech vs. Assistant
It is important to note the difference between vet techs and vet assistants.
Most states have certification requirements for techs, whereas assistants can work without one. That’s why Stratford’s distance learning course is perfect for those who want to get their feet wet in the veterinary field by becoming a vet assistant.
Enroll in a Veterinary Assistant Course Today
Take an introductory course on becoming a veterinary assistant from the Stratford Career Institute today!
You will learn what vet assistants do and how to start your career in this exciting field.
Interested in learning more about a career in veterinary training? Download our guide to Veterinary Assistant Training below!
Take a Veterinary Assistant Course!
Certification isn’t required, but additional training boost your resume and makes you a better candidate! Embark on a new journey today by signing up for a Vet Assistant course at Stratford.