Veterinary Technician Assistant Full-Time Program

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 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 assistant field for over 24 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.

Caree Opportunities

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

Next Start Date: May 25thVeterinary Technician Assistant Program Granville College (Vancouver Campus)

 Schedule

  • 4 days per week
  • Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • 24 weeks including a 3 week practicum placement
VOA® FUNDAMENTALS 214.75 hrs
Students will be taught to “speak the language” used by other veterinary professionals and understand the science of animal anatomy and physiology. Identify with the most common companion animals found in the veterinary practice and learn their basic behavior. Students will perform calculations of drugs, dispensing, and administration. Supportive care for the patient and clinical procedures are also covered.
SURGICAL ASSISTING 84.5 hrs
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.
SMALL ANIMAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT 156.5 hrs
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.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS, CLIENT SERVICES AND CAREER PLANNING 64.75 hrs
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 Assistant, and to be a critical support of the Veterinary team. Also included are veterinary software applications, ethics and professional development.
VETERINARY OFFICE PROCEDURES 37.5 hrs
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.
PRACTICUM 78 hrs
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
VOA® FUNDAMENTALS
Students will be taught to “speak the language” used by other veterinary professionals and understand the science of animal anatomy and physiology. Identify with the most common companion animals found in the veterinary practice and learn their basic behavior. Students will perform calculations of drugs, dispensing, and administration. Supportive care for the patient and clinical procedures are also covered.  Veterinary Terminology, Abbreviations and Symbols: Most commonly used vocabulary (written and verbal) and their meanings.  Small Animal Anatomy and Physiology: Body systems (Cardiovascular/Lymphatic, Skeletal, Muscular, Endocrine, Genitourinary, Gastrointestinal, Special senses, Nervous, Respiratory, Integumentary); discussing each system including organs, functions, specific details to note and ways in which they complement each other. Canine and Feline Breeds: AKC/CKC group guidelines and general information, 73 individual dog breeds and 20 individual cat breeds commonly seen in the veterinary clinic, recognition/identification of each breed as well as general information about each breed (origin/history, coat colours, lifespan, average size, temperament, lifestyle requirements, and common ownership concerns.) Behaviour of Small Animals: Understanding dog and cat body language; reading/adapting to signs that are being given by the animal, visual cues, socialization periods, and common behavioural concerns seen in the veterinary hospital. Pharmacology and Basic Math: Drug names and trade names, general uses and categories of veterinary drugs, dispensing procedures, administration methods, drug handling and safety concerns. Restraint and Clinical Nursing: Supportive care for the hospitalized patient, including basic bathing, nail trimming procedure, and eye/ear cleaning procedure. Animal positioning for basic clinical procedures; venipuncture, cystocentesis, nail trim, and performing a basic TPR. Correct lifting and carrying procedure, simple radiographic positions, identifying and solving concerns with difficult animals, and use of restraint aids.
SURGICAL ASSISTING
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.
SMALL ANIMAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT
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.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS, CLIENT SERVICES AND CAREER PLANNING
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 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 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 Assistant. Setting goals, creating a schedule, procrastination and stress management, prioritizing and time management, and testing skills.
VETERINARY OFFICE PROCEDURES
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.
PRACTICUM
Students will go on a three week practicum to a host clinic to measure and apply the training received during the Veterinary 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
VOA® FUNDAMENTALS:
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.
SURGICAL ASSISTING:
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.
SMALL ANIMAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT:
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.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS, CLIENT SERVICES AND CAREER PLANNING:
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.
VETERINARY OFFICE PROCEDURES:
Upon successful completion, the student will have demonstrated the ability to: Describe business office procedures and responsibilities of a Veterinary 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 OR a minimum of five years’ work experience;
Résume;
60% score on Granville College Entrance Evaluation
Admission Interview

For International students, in addition to the above one or more of the following;

  • TOEFL score CBT 217, TOEFL score iBT 82, IELTS score 6.0
  • A minimum of two years of full-time study at the secondary school level in an English language school system in a country where English is considered the primary language, or the primary language of instruction and evaluation is English, with passing grades in all English courses;
  • A minimum of two full years of successful study in an accredited university degree or college diploma program in a country OR in a postsecondary institution where English is the primary language of instruction;

Graduation Requirements

In order to successfully graduate, students are required to:

  • Complete each course/module in the 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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Hi, my name is Krissy and I graduated from the VOA® Class 47 at Granville Business College. The program is fantastic and the amount of knowledge I gained is invaluable. The teachers and administrators were very supportive and the methods used to instruct the class were great. During the program you learn a tremendous amount. The classes include; lectures, mock veterinary clinics, field trips, animal handling and restraint classes. We learned that the role of a Veterinary Assistant is very important since we make the first impression to the public. I recommend this program to anyone who loves animals and is considering working with them.
Krissy L.

Full Time Course Curriculum

The Veterinary Technician Assistant Program consists of five main subjects that cover everything from anesthetic monitoring to zoonotic diseases. Courses are continually updated, and we work with clinics and hospitals in the lower mainland to make sure we always teach our students the most current protocols and procedures.

Veterinary Assistant Fundamentals

You’ll learn laboratory test procedures, use of laboratory equipment, pharmacology, radiology, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, breeds and their behavioural traits, as well as:

  • Preparation of analysis procedures for various body functions through blood, urine and fecal testing
  • Preparation of samples for transport to external laboratory facilities
  • Patient positioning for diagnostic radiographs
  • Practice of safe technique during radiographic procedures
  • Practicing of low stress and safe patient restraint techniques


Veterinary Surgical Procedures Awareness

In this course you will learn all the common veterinary surgical procedures, including:

  • Anesthesia procedures
  • Use of surgical equipment
  • Terminology
  • Practice of proper restraint technique for surgical patients
  • Practice preparation of an animal for surgical procedures
  • Disinfection and sterilization of surgical suite and equipment
  • Home care for patients specific to each surgical procedure


Small Animal Health Management

Small Animal Health Management covers medical conditions, nutrition and diets, identification and treatment for parasites, fleas and heartworm. You will learn about vaccines and their administration. In this section we also cover proper preparation and handling of vaccines and other medications, as well as euthanasia.

Veterinary Office Procedures

Students learn the management of patient medical records, daily appointment scheduling, preparation of standard forms and documents used in a veterinary practice and general billing procedures. Animal health product sales and coordinating with industry product representatives are also included in this course.

Client Services, Communication Skills and Veterinary Career Planning

During role-play and other fun, interactive activities, students will practice effective communication techniques in various mock clinic situations. You’ll learn telephone communication skills, how to handle emergency calls and dispute resolution, as well as grief counselling.

Professional Practicum: A Real-World Clinical Experience

At the end of the Program, our 3-week practicum is a great way to gain hands-on, real-world experience, make important industry contacts and showcase your abilities to potential employers.

Other Important Areas Of Training Include…

Also included:

  • Resume preparation
  • Career planning
  • Job search strategies & interview techniques

Is Veterinary Technician Assistant Training Right For You?

To learn more about training as a Veterinary Technician Assistant and to find out if Granville College is right for you, fill out the form on this page to receive more information. For immediate questions, contact an Admissions Advisor today at 604-683-8850.