What does a Veterinarian Assistant do?
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A veterinarian assistant cares for the well-being of animals in animal hospitals, clinics or laboratories. They feed, bath, exercise, and monitor animals as well as disinfect cages, kennels or examination and operating rooms. They monitor animals after surgery and assist a veterinarian in a variety of other duties.
They restrain animals during an examination or laboratory procedure. He or she would give medication or immunizations prescribed by the veterinarian and assist in collecting, urine, blood and tissue samples of the animal. They would monitor and care for an animal after any surgical procedure.
How to Become a Veterinarian Assistant
Most employers expect a veterinarian assistant to have at least a high school diploma and provide on-the-job training. An employer would prefer previous experience with animals, therefore it may be helpful to volunteer at a local animal shelter or rescue. In addition though not required some veterinarian assistants pursue certifications for advancement opportunities after gaining experience. This can be earned through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) or the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.
Job Description of a Veterinarian Assistant
A veterinarian assistant performs a variety of tasks under the supervision of a vet. They sterilize surgical instruments and equipment as well as feed, bathe, exercise and weigh animals. They are most often found working in clinics, animal hospitals, and laboratories. They must work a variety of hours including nights, week-ends, and holidays.
This job can be very stressful and demanding due to working with ill and injuries animals. Often times these animals are scared or aggressive, therefore can cause injury to you such a bites, scratches, or bruising while restraining or holding an animal that is receiving care. In addition it can be emotionally draining as well due to working with abused and neglected animals as well. At times you may assist in euthanizing animals.