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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  

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.

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Program Description

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.

Program Objectives

After completing the Veterinary Assisting program, students will be able to:

  1. 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.
  2. Use appropriate veterinary terminology to describe basic concepts of anatomy and physiology, pathology and disease, pharmacology, dentistry, and nutrition, as they apply to animals.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Interact with veterinarians, veterinary technicians, clients, and animals, displaying professional skills, appearance, and ethics in a work-experience setting.

Stand out from the crowd

With our online Veterinary Assisting program, you can gain the skills employers demand. But that's not the only way we help you unlock new opportunities. You'll also enjoy exclusive access to our Career Tools, including one-on-one consultations with our advisors to strengthen your interview skills and develop a career strategy.

Ready to get started?

Advance your career in our online API Program Name program. Call 1-800-957-5412