Spotlight on: Veterinary assisting

If you love working with animals you should become a veterinary assistant.

If you love working with animals you should become a veterinary assistant.

If you want to turn your love of animals into a full-time job, veterinary assisting may be right for you! Animals of all shapes and sizes – from dogs and cats to cows and chickens – need quality medical care, and as a veterinary assistant you will be prepared to confront the daily challenges that come with working in this exciting field. We’ve answered a few FAQs to get you on your way to turning your knack for relating to animals into a career:

What does a veterinary assistant do?
As a veterinary assistant, your primary job is to help the veterinarian run the office. This means taking on a variety of duties, including keeping track of charts, setting appointments, and weighing and caring for animals. Veterinary assistants may also have the opportunity to take on a number of medical tasks, such as collecting laboratory specimens and helping with diagnostic or surgical procedures. In this position, your work is an essential component of making sure that the office runs smoothly and all animals receive the care that they need.

What qualifications do I need?
To be qualified for this job, you will need to complete a veterinary assisting program. It is also a good idea to get as much hands-on experience working with animals as possible. This can be gained through volunteering at a local animal shelter or pet day care center. If you plan to use your degree in a rural location, get some experience working with farm animals. If you wish to become a certified veterinary assistant (CVA), you will also need to complete your state’s CVA exam.

How can I use my degree?
There is a variety of career options available to veterinary assistants. In addition to working in a veterinary hospital or clinic, assistants can put their degrees to use in zoos, wildlife centers, animal shelters and animal research agencies. If it involves working with animals, your veterinary assisting degree will help you get the job!

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