Veterinary Assistant Program Online

Ashworth College's online Veterinary Assisting program provides in-depth instruction in the behavior, care, and treatment of animals relevant to working in veterinary offices nationwide—all in as little as 4 months. Your Vet Assistant program is designed to cover all of the Essential Skills for Assistant Training recommended by National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). All graduates receive a one-year NAVTA membership. Benefits include access to NAVTA journals and e-newsletters, discounts on pet health insurance, equipment, transportation and more!

You'll also have an opportunity to arrange your own externship and complete hands-on training in a veterinary office under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a credentialed veterinary technician.

View Program Details  

Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career Program

Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Introduction to Veterinary Practice  

The history of veterinary medicine; types of veterinary practices; the team approach to veterinary medicine; rolls and responsibilities of team members; personal qualifications; professionalism and ethics; laws and agencies related to veterinary practice.

Lesson Group 2: The Veterinary Office

The Business of Veterinary Medicine  

Front-office team members and veterinary assistant roles; greeting clients on the phone and in person; telephone triage; scheduling appointments; accounts receivable; pet health insurance; inventory control and reorder points.

Office and Hospital Procedures  

General requirements and commonly used formats for medical records; records maintenance; common office forms; procedures for admitting and discharging patients.

Communication and Client Relations  

Communication with animals and owners; the effect of body language on client communication; the human-animal bond; pet loss and grief; compassion fatigue.

Lesson Group 3: Veterinary Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology

Veterinary Terminology  

Common terms used to describe animals; anatomical terms of direction; terms for body regions; word roots and combining forms.

Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology  

Cells and tissues; skeletal and muscular systems; the integument; circulatory and respiratory systems; nervous system and special senses; endocrine, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.

Veterinary Pharmacology  

Dosage forms and calculations; prescriptions; storage and handling of medications; drugs for specific body systems; antimicrobials; antiparasitics; anti-inflammatories; disinfectants and antiseptics.

Lesson Group 4: Small-Animal Nursing

Animal Behavior and Restraint  

Dog and cat breeds; ethology; preventing and correcting behavior problems; house training; canine body language; restraint equipment and techniques.

Animal Husbandry and Nutrition  

Aspects of preventive care; proper housing and sanitation for dogs and cats; nutritional needs; feeding methods for different life cycle stages; common zoonotic diseases; vaccine requirements.

Small-Animal Care and Nursing  

Patient history and physical examination; therapeutic bathing; grooming and skin care; nail trimming; administering medications; fluid therapy; wound care and bandaging.

Lesson Group 5: Clinical Procedures

Surgical Preparation and Assisting  

The role of the veterinary assistant in surgical nursing; using appropriate terminology related to surgical procedures; sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment; suture materials; asepsis in the surgical suite.

Laboratory Procedures  

Collecting and preparing samples for diagnostic testing; lab equipment; hematology and clinical chemistry tests; immunology and urinalysis tests; common parasites of dogs and cats.

Diagnostic Imaging  

Principles of X-ray generation; commonly obtained radiographic views for dogs and cats; proper patient positioning during radiographs; safety concerns; radiology record-keeping procedures.

 Close Curriculum Details

Why Ashworth College Veterinary Assistant School?

  • Ashworth's online Veterinary Assistant program was developed to provide instruction based on National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) recommended Essential Skills for Assistant Training. NAVTA is a professional trade organization that represents and promotes the professions of veterinary assisting and veterinary technology
  • Ashworth College Vet Assistant Training Program is one of the most affordable online veterinary assistant programs among all the veterinary assistant schools.
  • Your Veterinary Assistant Training program was recently revised and features the most up-to-date information regarding front office procedures, veterinary pharmacology, small-animal nursing, and surgical assisting.
  • Your course includes a one-year NAVTA membership at no additional cost to you.
  • Your veterinary assistant school offers numerous virtual field trips to reinforce advanced concepts and enhance your multimedia experience.
  • You'll have an opportunity to arrange your own externship experience according to guidelines established by Ashworth College.

Externship Program

To meet the requirements for graduation for your Veterinary Assisting program, you must complete 120 hours of externship under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a credentialed veterinary technician. Students are required to make arrangements for their own externship experience according to guidelines established by Ashworth College and are responsible for all expenses incurred during the externship

State Requirements

A career in this field may require you to meet certain licensing, training, and other requirements that can vary by vocation and state. You should check with your state, local government and/or licensing board to find out which requirements may be applicable in your state. Click here for contact information on state licensing/regulatory boards and certain professional licensing information.

Our Veterinary Assistant Course Training

As part of Ashworth career school's Veterinary Assistant program, you'll learn how to schedule appointments, admit and discharge patients, interpret animal behavior, handle both healthy and sick animals, and maintain proper animal housing, sanitation, and nutrition.

Employers are looking for veterinary assistants who can:

  • Properly handle and restrain animals during veterinary procedures
  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, and examination rooms to control the spread of disease
  • Prepare medical instruments and equipment for use
  • Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses and injuries
  • Schedule patient appointments and procedures and maintain animal medical records

Ashworth College Student Reviews

"You can achieve your goals here at Ashworth College. It doesn’t set you up to fail. You can go at your own pace every step of the way."
– Carolyn McDale, Student

"Dreams really do come true! Thanks for helping me reach them Ashworth!"
– Samantha Currier, Student

"I love Ashworth College because I don't have to take student loans to pay my school fees. It is affordable and you can study at your own time."
– Michell Oberly, Student

"Thank you Ashworth for making it possible to go to school while having a family and a job! "
– Anna Bak, Student

Your Veterinary Assistant Course Includes:

  • Learning content developed in accordance with the NAVTA recommended topics and objectives
  • One year Membership in NAVTA
  • Career diploma at graduation; you may participate in our live commencement ceremony
  • Personalized career guidance

What features should I look for in the Ashworth College Veterinary Assistant program compared to other veterinary assistant schools?

It's important that the vet assistant program you choose includes the latest information on front office procedures, scheduling systems, and pet health insurance plans. Look for a program that has only the lesson content you need to know; a program that's focused on the veterinary assisting skills you need to start your career. Your veterinary assistant program should include lessons on terminology, anatomy, physiology, behavior, restraint, nutrition, and small-animal nursing procedures. You also want a program that covers clinical veterinary assisting, including surgical preparation, laboratory procedures, and imaging procedures. A well-rounded program includes an externship that allows you to gain hands-on experience using the skills you learn during the course of your studies.

Is this course all online or do I get books?

There are no textbooks required in this program. Learning guides are available online for easy access and convenience.

Does Ashworth College help students secure externship sites?

Students are required to make arrangements for their own externship experience according to established guidelines. Ashworth College provides detailed instruction on the selection, approval, and requirements of externship sites during the program, but students are ultimately responsible for site selection and are responsible for all expenses incurred during the externship.

Complete our online veterinary assistant program at your pace and on your terms. Call 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online today.