The Role of Veterinary Assistants

Two Veterinary Assistants safely restraining a Siamese cat to administer care
Danielle (left) cleaning Michu’s ears (centre) while Bre (right) uses proper techniques to keep Michu calm

“Veterinary Assistants Make a Real Difference in the Lives of Animals”

Veterinary Assistants are qualified professionals who undergo formal education, training and experience to deliver specific veterinary services under the supervision of a Veterinarian. They make every part of a clinic run smoothly and make a real difference in lives of animals they help to treat. If you’re passionate about quality animal health care and are looking to get started working in a rewarding, professional career, then this may be the ideal path for you!

Below, you’ll find a quick overview of the skills and duties specific to this career. After completing the Granville College Program, you will be able to perform these duties in a veterinary clinic/hospital or related animal health care setting.

Scope of Work

Veterinary Assistants can have many different specialties and many different names. From the front-end office work of a Veterinary Office Assistant to the back-end technical work of a Veterinary Technician Assistant, what’s always the same is the VA’s ability to assist the veterinary team in caring for their animal patients. The Veterinary Assistant can be compared to a Licensed Practical Nurse, Research Technician, Care Aide or Radiology Assistant in human medicine.

Veterinary Assistants can work with a variety of species including companion animals, exotics, and even livestock or wildlife. At Granville College our focus is to ensure each Veterinary Assistant that graduates from our program is job ready and fully trained to provide the best possible care.

Major Areas of Training

The major areas in which Veterinary Assistants are trained include the following:

Preparation of analysis procedures for various body functions through the testing of blood, urine and feces as well as preparing samples for delivery to reference laboratories.
Animal care including restraint, administration of some medications, nutritional requirements, recognition of pain and knowledge of expected behavioural signs.
Patient positioning for the production of diagnostic radiographs and knowledge of safety techniques for a safe workplace.
Preparation of patients for common surgical procedures, general pre- and post-operative care and the disinfection and maintenance of the surgical suite and equipment.
Routine sanitation, sterilization and disinfection techniques including protocols for isolation cases as well as general information about common medical conditions, parasites and vaccinatable diseases.
Working with the public to book appointments and achieve quality client experience in the hospital. Promote excellent animal care as well as maintenance of medical records, hospital inventory and general clerical duties as required.
Achievement of effective communication techniques with the public, clients and co-workers as well as techniques for dealing with difficult situations and emergencies.

Career Opportunities

The employment options for graduates are not limited to the clinic environment. These opportunities 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 Agent
    and more!

Is a Career as a Veterinary Assistant Right for You?
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If you have any questions about our programs, please fill out the form on this page and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

If you’d like to speak to someone right away, or book a tour of Granville College, feel free to call us at 604-683-8850.