Online Veterinary Assistant Course Curriculum

The veterinary assistant course will teach you to perform tasks, such as maintaining and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment, providing emergency first aid and medication to sick or injured animals and updating animal medical histories and records.

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Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career Program

Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Introduction to Veterinary Practice  

The history of veterinary medicine; types of veterinary practices; the team approach to veterinary medicine; rolls and responsibilities of team members; personal qualifications; professionalism and ethics; laws and agencies related to veterinary practice.

Lesson Group 2: The Veterinary Office

The Business of Veterinary Medicine  

Front-office team members and veterinary assistant roles; greeting clients on the phone and in person; telephone triage; scheduling appointments; accounts receivable; pet health insurance; inventory control and reorder points.

Office and Hospital Procedures  

General requirements and commonly used formats for medical records; records maintenance; common office forms; procedures for admitting and discharging patients.

Communication and Client Relations  

Communication with animals and owners; the effect of body language on client communication; the human-animal bond; pet loss and grief; compassion fatigue.

Lesson Group 3: Veterinary Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology

Veterinary Terminology  

Common terms used to describe animals; anatomical terms of direction; terms for body regions; word roots and combining forms.

Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology  

Cells and tissues; skeletal and muscular systems; the integument; circulatory and respiratory systems; nervous system and special senses; endocrine, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.

Veterinary Pharmacology  

Dosage forms and calculations; prescriptions; storage and handling of medications; drugs for specific body systems; antimicrobials; antiparasitics; anti-inflammatories; disinfectants and antiseptics.

Lesson Group 4: Small-Animal Nursing

Animal Behavior and Restraint  

Dog and cat breeds; ethology; preventing and correcting behavior problems; house training; canine body language; restraint equipment and techniques.

Animal Husbandry and Nutrition  

Aspects of preventive care; proper housing and sanitation for dogs and cats; nutritional needs; feeding methods for different life cycle stages; common zoonotic diseases; vaccine requirements.

Small-Animal Care and Nursing  

Patient history and physical examination; therapeutic bathing; grooming and skin care; nail trimming; administering medications; fluid therapy; wound care and bandaging.

Lesson Group 5: Clinical Procedures

Surgical Preparation and Assisting  

The role of the veterinary assistant in surgical nursing; using appropriate terminology related to surgical procedures; sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment; suture materials; asepsis in the surgical suite.

Laboratory Procedures  

Collecting and preparing samples for diagnostic testing; lab equipment; hematology and clinical chemistry tests; immunology and urinalysis tests; common parasites of dogs and cats.

Diagnostic Imaging  

Principles of X-ray generation; commonly obtained radiographic views for dogs and cats; proper patient positioning during radiographs; safety concerns; radiology record-keeping procedures.

 Close Curriculum Details

Program Description

The Veterinary Assisting program is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills required for entry‐level work performing the administrative and clinical functions of a veterinary assistant. Program topics include animal behavior and restraint, small-animal nursing, office and hospital procedures, client relations, medication dosage and administration, surgical preparation, and laboratory procedures.

Students will complete a 120-hour externship in a veterinary office under the instruction of a licensed veterinarian or a credentialed veterinary technician.

Program Objectives

After completing the Veterinary Assisting program, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the interpersonal skills and professional characteristics of an effective veterinary assistant, explain where employment opportunities can be found for those with training in animal care, and outline typical daily responsibilities.
  2. Use appropriate veterinary terminology to describe basic concepts of anatomy and physiology, pathology and disease, pharmacology, dentistry, and nutrition, as they apply to animals.
  3. Describe how to determine the difference between emergency medical conditions and less critical medical ailments by identifying symptoms, signs, and clinical signs, and by reading animal body language.
  4. Explain the fundamental quality control processes used to safely handle and treat both healthy and sick/injured animals, such as when conducting physical examinations, collecting samples, conducting tests, performing procedures, and making observations.
  5. Identify standard procedures used in the animal care laboratory and surgical center and describe the functions, use, and maintenance of the specialized equipment and instruments found there.
  6. Interact with veterinarians, veterinary technicians, clients, and animals, displaying professional skills, appearance, and ethics in a work-experience setting.

Get started on the veterinary assistant course today and move one step closer to your dream job. Call 1-800-535-1613 or enroll now.