Many people who love animals think first of becoming a veterinarian. The education that comes with being a veterinarian is extensive though. You should expect to go to school for 4 years and it may be a challenge to get into the program of your choice, as well. But there are other careers that involve working with animals that you might want to consider. If you are good with people and with animals, one career you might consider is the Veterinary Office Assistant.
The Veterinary Office Assistant will work with the animals and with their owners. There is enough variety in this job to keep it interesting and challenging and you’ll have plenty of time to work with the animals, too.
Before you embark on taking the courses necessary to become a vet’s assistant you should learn about what they do.
What does a veterinary office assistant do?
Meet and Greet
Pet owner’s that come into the veterinarian’s office are often stressed and anxious because their pets may be in pain or in distress. Even when they are just bringing their pets in for routine exams it can be a tough time – pet owners can get very attached to their little critters (and their big one’s too!).
It is necessary to have good people skills when you are meeting the owner’s. You need to be friendly but you also need to take their feelings seriously. Don’t act like they are being silly or overreacting. Empathize with them.
Part of your job is to make sure that the pet owner understands what is expected of them, what procedures are going to be used, and any other instructions that are important. This will require good communication skills on your part because the pet owners might be so anxious that they are not able to listen the way they normally would. Take the necessary time to make sure that the message gets across clearly.
Caring for the Animals
Grooming and feeding the animals are part of the job of the veterinary office assistant. Remember that animals might not be themselves when they are in a strange situation so they will require patience and caring and understanding. You will need to be careful but loving. You may also need to administer medications (oral or needle) as prescribed by the veterinarian. Proper handling techniques will be useful.
Caring for Animals After Surgery
Animals that have come in for surgery may stay at the clinic for a period of 24 hours or more. The veterinary office assistant will likely be the person who cares for the animals during that time. They need a lot of TLC to make them feel more secure.
In order to become a Veterinary Office Assistant you will have to obtain the proper education. There is much to know and skills that you will need to master. Medical terminology is one of the things you will have to be comfortable with in order to understand instructions from the veterinarian and to communicate effectively with other members of the staff. In your education you will also learn proper handling techniques and you will learn about the drugs that are used in a veterinary clinic.