A Day In The Life Of A Veterinary Assistant

The Veterinary Assistant’s Daily Duties

Veterinary assistants play a vital role in ensuring that the pets, production animals and livestock of America receive the excellent veterinary care that their owners have come to expect.

Veterinary assistants are an important component of any veterinary practice, whether they have completed a formal training program or have received on the job training from their current employer. Their contribution is vital in enabling the veterinarian or vet tech to provide effective care to injured or ill animals.

Starting the Day

A Day In The Life Of A Vet Tech AssistantDepending on the nature of the practice, a veterinary assistant may work widely varying hours. Veterinary assistants working at a 24-hour clinic may find themselves working at any time of the day or night. Conversely, other practices may only be open during regular business hours, which will allow the assistant to work a regular shift. Other programs that involve the care of animals, such as wildlife management programs, humane shelters or laboratories may have their own staffing needs and schedules.

When a veterinary assistant first arrives for work, he or she will check in with the supervisor to determine what the day’s schedule will be like. In most cases, the supervisor will be a veterinarian or veterinary technician, although in some large practices, the veterinary assistant may report to another individual.

Many veterinary assistants start the day by watering, feeding and changing the bedding for the various animals under the care of the practice. Depending on the nature of the practice, this may involve working with common pets or require the veterinary assistant to work with large and exotic animals. One of the most important parts of this duty is ensuring that the enclosures remain clean in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Finally, should the assistant note that any animals are behaving in an unusual matter, he or she must report this information to the veterinarian or vet tech.

The Veterinary Assistant’s Daily Duties

Veterinary assistants generally focus on assisting the veterinarian in the performance of his duties. This usually involves ensuring that the vet has the equipment he or she needs, as well as carrying out duties such as cleaning and preparing operation and examination rooms. In most states, veterinary assistants are not permitted to provide direct veterinary care to an animal, unless it is under the direct supervision of the veterinarian.

In addition to directly assisting the vet, the veterinary assistant will help inventory the practice’s supplies in order to determine what materials need to be replaced. In many practices, a veterinary assistant will carry out the process of filling out these orders. When equipment or supplies are delivered to the practice, the veterinary assistant will properly store it while ensuring that the records have been updated to reflect the new deliveries.

Office Work

In addition to working with the animals, many veterinary assistants will also work in the practice’s office. There, they will carry out the following duties:

  • Greet visitors to the practice and determine what their needs are.
  • Answer the phone and help the callers make appointments for the examination of their animals.
  • Notify the veterinarian or vet tech if an animal requires emergency treatment.
  • Carry out general clerical work, such as issuing bills to the clients.
  • Ensure that all records are filed in the proper way and that any animal case files are provided to the veterinarian when he or she requests them.

In addition, veterinary assistants must be able to work with visitors in a professional and friendly manner, and be prepared to calm those individuals who are currently distraught over their animal’s condition.

The End of the Day

Before leaving the practice, the veterinary assistant will ensure that all animals have been fed and watered for the night. This is especially important in practices that are not staffed on a 24-hour basis. In addition, the veterinary assistant will ensure that all animal enclosures and exterior doors have been secured for the night. Finally, veterinary assistants will help clean the practice, including operating and examination rooms, in addition to cleaning and properly storing any tools or equipment.

Veterinary assistants play a vital role in helping veterinarians and vet techs provide the best possible care to their animal patients. By helping maintain a smoothly running veterinary practice, they help America’s beloved animals on a daily basis.

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