Veterinary Office Assistants provide office support to the veterinarian and animal health technicians. They play an integral role in the smooth operation of the veterinarian’s practice. If you love working with animals and want to help pet owners take care of their pets, then this career path is for you!
Veterinary Office Assistants deal directly with clients and their pets and help assess their needs, provide guidance and support, manage appointments and perform desk operations. As part of the Veterinary Office Assistant program, you will:
- Learn about veterinary office procedures
- Gain the skills and knowledge required to provide assistance to clients and their pets
- Gain administrative and office skills such as business communications, computer fundamentals, keyboarding
- Learn how to properly clean and maintain examination rooms and storage areas
- Learn how to appropriately restrain and handle companion pets when needed
- Develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to handle the multi-faceted duties of a Veterinary Office Assistant
Career opportunities for Veterinary Office Assistants exist in veterinary hospitals/clinics, pet shelters pet stores, humane shelters, pet daycares, Animal Control and other animal facilities across Manitoba.
Graduates will find employment in veterinary hospitals, veterinary clinics, pet shelters and pet insurance offices across Manitoba.
Topics of Study
Animal Restraint - 60 hours
Reviews the techniques and devices currently used to restrain and handle cats and dogs, as well as how to read pet body language.
Animal Nutrition - 60 hours
Focuses on pet nutritional requirements including helping clients compare pet foods, prescription diets, nutritional lifestyles, how to assess energy requirements and understanding the meaning of food labels.
Animal Parasites - 40 hours
Introduces students to common parasites of cats and dogs including treatments, preventions and medications. Also discussed are parasitic zoonosis.
Common Conditions - 40 hours
Provides knowledge on the common conditions that often affect companion animals while also developing an understanding of the history, predisposing factors, clinical signs, treatments and prognoses of these health concerns.
Digital Applications - 60 hours
Provides students with a basic understanding of computer hardware and software. Including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and web browsing techniques. Students also learn to operate computers independently, to organize files and folders, produce professional documents, send and manage email and use the Internet for research purposes.
Pet Immunity & Vaccinations - 40 hours
Explores the common diseases of dogs and cats. Topics include accurate history taking, clinical signs, predisposing factors and treatments. Emphasis is placed on the immunity pets acquire, how vaccinations work and how the pet’s own immune system works.
Vet Office Procedures and Customer Service - 80 hours
Explores the definition of excellent customer service in a veterinary clinic setting by role playing with classmates and exploring the challenges of customer service and effective problem-solving.
Veterinary Medical Terminology - 40 hours
Explores medical terminology and pet anatomy through the study of word elements and the structure and parts of animal body systems. This course helps communicate effectively with the animal health team. Knowing the terms used in the veterinary field is critical when speaking with staff and clients.
Veterinary Nursing - 60 hours
Reviews of the daily clinical procedures common to veterinary clinics and hospitals. Topics include the setup and function of the different areas within a vet clinic, how animals are hospitalized and cared for and the common surgeries and procedures for sick pets.
Veterinary Dispensing - 40 hours
Introduces students to pet medications and how they work in the body. Topics include understanding prescription orders, dosage forms and how medications are dispensed.
Employment and Career Management - 20 hours
Prepares students to conduct a thorough employment search strategy that incorporates personal marketing, assessment of skill inventories and an understanding of the job market in the relevant industry/sector. Throughout this course, students create or improve their resume, practice interview techniques, learn networking skills and how to successfully search for career-related employment.
Veterinary Office Assistant Work Experience Practicum
At the end of your program, you will participate in a 4-week work practicum in a veterinary office setting where you will gain valuable hands-on experience.
Andrea Casavant is a graduate of the Animal Health Technology diploma program at Red River College. She has over 10 years of experience working in the animal health field and has had the opportunity to work in such areas as private practice, research, wildlife and zoological. Andrea is a registered member of the Manitoba Animal Health Technologist Association and attends numerous seminars to remain current in the veterinary field. Andrea brings a great passion for animal care and developing her students.
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