Veterinary assistant online course curriculum
Our veterinary assistant online course curriculum is designed to help students gain career-critical skills and knowledge. You’ll learn everything from front-office management to medication dosages to animal restraint.
Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career Program
Learning at Ashworth
Introduction to Veterinary Practice
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.
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
Office and Hospital Procedures
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.
Communication and Client Relations
General requirements and commonly used formats for medical records; records maintenance; common office forms; procedures for admitting and discharging patients.
Communication with animals and owners; the effect of body language on client communication; the human-animal bond; pet loss and grief; compassion fatigue.
The Veterinary Assisting program is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills required for entry‐level work performing the administrative and clinical functions of a veterinary assistant. Program topics include animal behavior and restraint, small-animal nursing, office and hospital procedures, client relations, medication dosage and administration, surgical preparation, and laboratory procedures.
Students will complete a 120-hour externship in a veterinary office under the instruction of a licensed veterinarian or a credentialed veterinary technician.
After completing the Veterinary Assisting program, students will be able to:
Describe the interpersonal skills and professional characteristics of an effective veterinary assistant, explain where employment opportunities can be found for those with training in animal care, and outline typical daily responsibilities.
Use appropriate veterinary terminology to describe basic concepts of anatomy and physiology, pathology and disease, pharmacology, dentistry, and nutrition, as they apply to animals.
Describe how to determine the difference between emergency medical conditions and less critical medical ailments by identifying symptoms, signs, and clinical signs, and by reading animal body language.
Explain the fundamental quality control processes used to safely handle and treat both healthy and sick/injured animals, such as when conducting physical examinations, collecting samples, conducting tests, performing procedures, and making observations.
Identify standard procedures used in the animal care laboratory and surgical center and describe the functions, use, and maintenance of the specialized equipment and instruments found there.
Interact with veterinarians, veterinary technicians, clients, and animals, displaying professional skills, appearance, and ethics in a work-experience setting.
Set your instincts on career success
In the Veterinary Assisting Career Diploma program, you gain valuable career guidance through your externship experience. But that's not all. Ashworth College also helps you develop the confidence you need to reach for your career goals because we integrate job search prep into your studies. With the online tools at the Ashworth EDGE, you’ll get step-by-step guidance as you create polished, professional resumes and letters. After you graduate, you’ll keep your Ashworth EDGE account so you can revisit the tools any time you need to make a good impression on a potential employer. Learn more about it at the Career Services page.