Veterinary Technician Assistant Diploma Program

Diploma Program Description:

The Veterinary Technical Assistant is a valued member of a veterinary practice team and works alongside animal health technicians, veterinary professionals, and shelter staff in the animal industry. The Full-Time Veterinary Technician Assistant Diploma Program will give you the technical knowledge and practical experience you need to have a rewarding career in animal care without spending years in school. In addition to classroom learning in a bright, modern space, students actively participate in labs, practical demonstrations and exciting field trips to animal care settings. We have frequent visits from industry guest speakers to furry friends of a wide range of animal species. Classrooms are led by experienced instructors who are genuinely interested in helping you enter the animal health professional field.

Personal Attention

Granville College has provided students with hands-on training and practical experience in the Veterinary Technician Assistant field for over 27 years. Programs are interactive, and taught by instructors who have years of experience working in real veterinary clinics. Unlike other schools, you’ll have the same instructor who will get to know how you learn, and help you take your training and apply it outside of the classroom.

Graduate Outcomes

The employment options for graduates are not limited to the clinic environment. These include:

  • Exam Room Assistant
  • SPCA
  • Zoos
  • Animal Shelters
  • Animal Rehabilitation Centers
  • Animal Control Centers
  • Animal ER Hospitals or Specialty Hospitals
  • Animal Research
  • Company Representative for Pet Nutrition Brands
  • Company Representative for Animal Products/Vaccines
  • Kennel Boarders
  • Pet Insurance Agents

Diploma Program Schedule

  • 4 days per week
  • Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • 24 weeks including a 3 week practicum placement

Diploma Program Curriculum

From asking the correct questions while booking and admitting the surgery all the way to the discharge. Everything in between from prepping of the patient, assisting during the procedure, to post-op surgical care. All aspects involved in the surgery day for the pet and the role of the Veterinary Technician Assistant Diploma Program. Prioritizing of patients, radiology, dentistry, laboratory skill procedures and protocols are all discussed here.

This section focuses on the health management of veterinary care with emphasis on nutrition, medical conditions, parasites, vaccines, and preventative medicine for companion pets. The addition of exotic specific species concerns and handling are also covered.

This course provides the foundation of skills students need to become successful front-of-office assistants. These skills are invaluable and a necessity to being a well-rounded Veterinary Technician Assistant Diploma Program, and to be a critical support of the Veterinary team. Also included are veterinary software applications, ethics and professional development.

Managing patient data is a huge job and this section includes the key skills needed to do just that. Subjects mentioned include: Invoicing, estimates, scheduling, inventory as well as understanding the importance of pet insurance. Support of all aspects surrounding euthanasia and grief management.

Students will go on a three week practicum to a host clinic to measure and apply the training received during the Veterinary Technician Assistant Program at Granville College. The purpose of the Practicum is to provide students with veterinarian supervised practical application of the skills, techniques, and methods taught in the program.

Veterinary Technician Assistant Subject Outline

Upon successful completion, the student will have demonstrated the ability to: Define medical terms, abbreviations and symbols. Identify breeds of companion animals commonly seen at veterinary clinics and their individual history, colour, average size, temperament, lifestyle, and common ownership concerns. Understand dog and cat body language, as well as behavioral cues and concerns. Demonstrate effective animal restraint and handling methods for the safe and humane management of small animals. Measure patient vital signs including temperature, pulse, and respiration (TPR). Perform routine veterinary procedures commonly used in veterinary practices. Describe pharmacology including drug names, general uses, and dispensing procedures. Calculate dosages and follow drug dispensing procedures. Describe the anatomy and physiology of companion animals commonly treated in an animal hospital setting.

From asking the correct questions while booking and admitting the surgery all the way to the discharge. Everything in between from prepping of the patient, assisting during the procedure, to post-op surgical care. All aspects involved in the surgery day for the pet and the role of the Veterinary Technician Assistant. Prioritizing of patients, radiology, dentistry, laboratory skill procedures and protocols are all discussed here. Surgical Procedures and Assisting: Details of commonly performed surgeries, admitting, aseptic techniques during surgery, surgery room set up/prep and cleaning, patient prep, and guidelines. Instrument names, instrument cleaning and care, and specific functions of each tool. Anesthetic protocols such as medications used, restraint for these procedures, monitoring equipment, set up/prep for anesthetics, and fluid therapy set up/prep. Postsurgical procedures and nursing care including ideal patient clinical recovery signs, caring for the post-surgical patient after routine surgeries, homecare instructions and client communication. Radiology: Safety, positioning, set up/prep, dark room procedures and use of restraint aids. Dentistry: Support for basic oral pathology and treatment procedures. Triage and Emergency Medicine: Handling telephone calls and in-person concerns, common emergencies that present at the clinic, prioritizing patients by degree of urgency, and client communication. Laboratory Skills and Procedures: Setting up/prepping for fecal analysis, urinalysis, and blood evaluation. Creating reference lab requisition forms, preparing samples for reference lab evaluation, sample handling protocols, safety and zoonotic concerns, function of laboratory equipment, usage and cleaning, laboratory tools (blood tubes, urinary collection options), details of sample collection techniques, performing free-catch urinary collection technique, preparing medications for injection (drawing up and reconstitution), and proper syringe and needle handling.

This section focuses on the health management of veterinary care with emphasis on nutrition, medical conditions, parasites, vaccines, and preventative medicine for companion pets. The addition of exotic specific species concerns and handling are also covered. Nutrition and Veterinary Diets: Essential nutrients, feeding guidelines, specific life stage feeding, species specific details, and dietary formulations available in the veterinary clinic. Medical Conditions: Commonly seen medical conditions in companion animals at veterinary clinics (details include a basic overview of the condition, presented clinical signs, diagnosis options, treatment/control protocols, and prognosis/outcome.) Parasites and Disease Control: Commonly seen parasites in dogs and cats at veterinary clinics (roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, heartworms, protozoans, mites, fleas, ticks, lice, and fungal infections) including their presentation and infection methods, clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment/control, zoonotic concerns and prevalence in BC. Vaccines and Preventive Medicine: Vaccine-preventable diseases in dogs and cats (Canine Distemper, Adenoviruses, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Bordetella, Chlamydophila felis, Panleukopenia, Feline Calicivirus infection, Feline Immunodeficiency virus, Feline Leukemia, and Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis) including clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment/control and prognosis as well as the vaccine information and protocols for administration. Holistic and Wellbeing Products: General options available to clients, OTC products available in veterinary hospitals, usage pertaining to veterinary medicine, facility options. Exotics and Wildlife Management: General species overview, medical concerns, specific husbandry and feeding concerns of animals commonly found in a veterinary hospital including rodents (including mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils), mini pets (including guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, chinchilla), reptiles (including snakes, turtles, and iguanas), and birds. Common wildlife concerns received at a veterinary clinic.

This course provides the foundation of skills students need to become successful front-of-office assistants. These skills are invaluable and a necessity to being a well-rounded Veterinary Technician Assistant, and to be a critical support of the Veterinary team. Also included are veterinary software applications, ethics and professional development. Veterinary Industry Overview: Duties and responsibilities of all veterinary team members (veterinarians, vet technicians, and veterinary Technician assistants.) Clinic structure and layout. Clinic professionalism, expectations, and common health and safety concerns for veterinary team members. Communication Skills: Appropriate vocabulary, telephone, and in person interaction techniques, and effective listening skills. Managing difficult situations, handling complaints from clients, client service up-selling techniques, and reading client body language. Reception Room Management: Client/patient flow through reception to the examination areas. Supporting clients through all aspects of pet ownership, and building rapport with clientele. Ethics: Professional ethics and laws surrounding the veterinary industry, and current standards for VOA’s in the CVBC Veterinarian’s Act. Computer Skills and Veterinary Software Training: Using Microsoft Office, learning veterinary software (Cornerstone and Avimark). Career Planning Strategies and Professional Development: Building effective and professional resumes and cover letters, job search skills, interview skills and career advancement. Profession and education options beyond becoming a Veterinary Technician Assistant. Setting goals, creating a schedule, procrastination and stress management, prioritizing and time management, and testing skills.

Managing patient data is a huge job and this section includes the key skills needed to do just that. Subjects mentioned include: Invoicing, estimates, scheduling, inventory as well as understanding the importance of pet insurance. Support of all aspects surrounding euthanasia and grief management. Medical Records: Creating, filing, writing, ownership and legalities of medical records. Patient Scheduling: Appointment requirements, frequency, length, and adjusting schedules when necessary. Clinical Inventory Management: AVP protocols and procedures; ordering products via fax and email, returns, shipping and receiving, inventory rotation and attention to shelf-life, product management, and utilizing veterinary product sales representatives to benefit the clinic. Estimates and Invoicing Procedures: Normal process and procedures, creating estimates within the clinic for treatment protocols, use of professional terminology when discussing financial matters with clients. Pet Insurance: Insurance terminology, common procedures surrounding pet insurance plans. Understand the importance of promoting pet insurance and the effectiveness of client communication Euthanasia and Grief Management: Reasons for euthanasia, supporting clients through these choices using empathy skills, and the understanding of the euthanasia process. Post-event procedures and memorializing options.

Students will go on a three week practicum to a host clinic to measure and apply the training received during the Veterinary Technician Assistant Diploma Program at Granville College. The purpose of the Practicum is to provide students with veterinarian supervised practical application of the skills, techniques, and methods taught in the program. Practicum locations are chosen by the students, and students make their own arrangements in consultation with the instructor. The student will be evaluated on the skills and knowledge applied during their Practicum experience. Under instructor discretion, specialty locations will be made available to selected students that fit the criteria. Granville College instructors will work with their students to find the best fit for their practicum experience.

Veterinary Technician Assistant Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, the student will have demonstrated the ability to: Manage admission procedures for surgery. Describe surgical procedures commonly performed on canine and feline patients. Describe procedures for preparing the surgical suite, patient and surgical team. Describe types of anesthesia used during common surgical procedures. Identify surgical instruments and explain their uses and maintenance. Identify and understand the functions of monitoring equipment. Prepare post-surgical discharge and home care instruction sheets for surgical procedures. Perform common laboratory tests including the packaging of samples, safe sample collection techniques, and selection of tubes and containers. Prepare syringes and dosages of medication for use by Technicians and Veterinarians. Recognize and handle animal emergencies in an effective and professional manner. Provide operational support to those responsible for radiology and dental procedures in an animal hospital setting.

Upon successful completion, the student will have demonstrated the ability to: List common companion animal dietary requirements and nutritional needs. Identify common medical conditions affecting the health and well-being of animals in the clinic. Describe the management of parasites including fleas and heartworm. Follow vaccine protocols and understand the different viruses including causes, clinical signs, diagnosing, treatment, and prevention of the diseases. Discuss the general characteristics, husbandry, nutritional requirements, and common illnesses of rodents, mini pets, reptiles, and birds. List general Holistic options for clients. List general wildlife considerations that could possibly be seen at veterinary clinics.

Upon successful completion, the student will have demonstrated the ability to: Recognize the functions and importance of veterinary team dynamics, as well as clinic structure. State common health and safety concerns for veterinary team members. Recognize professional ethics and laws surrounding the veterinary industry. Perform productive telephone and in person interaction techniques with clients. Use successful techniques for upselling veterinary services and animal health products. Understand how to maintain and manage the reception area. Explain ways to build a rapport with clients that will strengthen client loyalty. Use effective communication skills in all written and verbal correspondence. Assist in resolving conflicts, client complaints, in addition to managing difficult situations. Apply knowledge of common veterinary computer software. Prepare a resume and cover letter suitable for presentation during job search. Follow general principles for professional development when training and in job searching. Use effective interview techniques to increase chances of obtaining a position.

Upon successful completion, the student will have demonstrated the ability to: Describe business office procedures and responsibilities of a Veterinary Technician Assistant. Complete medical records ensuring that patient files contain all information that is required. Schedule appointments for clients and patients. Describe business inventory procedures in an animal hospital setting. Create estimates and invoices relating to services and products provided to clients. Understand the promotion of pet insurance and its procedures. Provide grief support to clientele. Understand euthanasia procedures in an animal hospital setting.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the Veterinary Technician Assistant Program at Granville College students must obtain the following:

  • Grade 12 or equivalent; transcript required and a minimum of five years’ work experience;
  • Résume;
  • 60% score on Granville College Entrance Evaluation
  • Admission Interview

For International students or students whose first language is not English, in addition to the admission requirements listed above, the student must also meet one or more of the following language proficiency requirements

  • Evidence the student has completed a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of BCT 240 OR iBT91.
  • OR
  • Evidence the student has completed an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.5.
  • OR
  • Evidence the student has completed a Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) with a minimum score of 780
  • OR
  • Evidence the student has successfully completed grade 12 or post-secondary education in an English instructional school system.

Graduation Requirements

In order to successfully graduate, students are required to:

  • Complete each course/module in the Diploma Program with a 70% or higher marks;
  • Successfully complete the required hours of practicum;
  • Have paid all dues (money owed) in full to Granville College;
  • Submit all required practicum forms to the Instructor or Administrator.

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“The Veterinary Technician Assistant Diploma Program has been approved by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training”.