So you’ve decided that jobs with animals are the route for you, and you're thinking that working alongside a vet at your local veterinary clinic would be the ideal place to start. But before you commit your time and energy to this new career path, you might be wondering what it's really like to be a vet assistant on a day-to-day basis.
What are the cons of being a veterinary assistant?
There are many benefits to working as a veterinary assistant, such as great satisfaction and extremely varied tasks, but you shouldn't kid yourself that it's all plain sailing. There are unpleasant sights and smells, very sad moments, and it's hard work. It's like any role in that there are pros and cons.
So, precisely what do veterinary assistants do day to day?
Quite often, people confuse vet nurse jobs with vet assistant work. However, these are two different professions with different skills and responsibilities. It's essential to understand the difference.
A veterinary nurse provides support to veterinarians in the care of animals receiving medical and surgical treatment. They perform high-level tasks such as working closely with animals in pre and post-operative care.
This may comprise preparing animals for surgery, helping with the administration of anaesthesia during surgery, performing dental procedures along with taking and running tests on blood and stool samples. Often vet nurses meet with clients and their animals before a veterinarian to evaluate the issue or injury of the animal and also educate owners on proper surgery aftercare.
A veterinary assistant, on the other hand, looks after the basic needs of animals in their care by feeding them, monitoring their weight, ensuring they're bathed and keeping their kennels or cages clean. They may also administer medications and care for the animal after procedures.
A vet assistant's day-to-day responsibilities will vary depending on what kind of setting they work in, such as a zoo or clinic, however, the key responsibilities of a vet assistant remain the same, and that is looking after the basic needs of an animal by:
- Feeding, bathing, and exercising the animals
- Cleaning and disinfecting cages, kennels, examination and operating rooms
- Restraining animals during examination and laboratory procedures
- Maintaining and sterilising surgical instruments and equipment
- Monitoring and caring for animals after surgery
- Helping to provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals
- Giving medication or immunisations that veterinarians prescribe
- Assisting in the collecting of blood, urine, and tissue samples
A great way to get a feel of whether your interpersonal skills are suited to vet assistant work is to go and volunteer at a local animal shelter or approach your local vet's practice. To successfully gain employment as a vet assistant, you'll need to demonstrate some experience in animal care, and this will give you something to point towards.
For more insight into the role, such as information about pay, responsibilities and working in the industry, look at national recruiter Indeed's vet assistant page dedicated to it.
Enjoy the Career You Deserve With OCA Short Courses Online
As we can see, there's a lot to offer when working in jobs with animals, and the great news is that learning the required skills is easy, convenient and affordable when learning with OCA. Our CPD Accredited short courses online can be taken at your own pace and offers a next-level learning experience that you can see for yourself by watching our Student Study Demo, which tells you everything you need to know.
Alternatively, if you'd like to know more about us or you'd like to see our entire course library that covers more than 20 industries, visit us today www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au. However, if you'd prefer to speak to us directly about your training needs, simply call 1300 611 404 or send us an email at email@example.com and we'll reply without delay.