Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Ohio
Becoming a veterinary assistant can be an excellent choice for individuals interested in entering a career in the veterinary care sector.
The veterinary assistant provides vital assistance to veterinarians, veterinary techs and other professionals seeking to provide care to America’s pets, livestock and production animals. In addition, there is a growing demand for veterinary assistants in the animal research and wildlife management fields.
Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Ohio
A major advantage of becoming a veterinary assistant in Ohio is that this field does not require the same extensive schooling veterinarians and veterinary assistants do. Because of this, becoming a veterinary assistant can be an excellent choice for individuals with limited funds.
Finally, Ohio does not require that veterinary assistants be licensed in order to practice in the state, which drastically reduces the time it takes to become a veterinary assistant.
Veterinary Assistant Programs
While veterinary assistants do not need to take a formal course of study in order to be hired, most businesses prefer to hire assistants who can start work immediately, rather than requiring on the job training. Because of this, many individuals seeking to be a veterinary assistant will complete a training program that prepares them for their career.
A veterinary assistant program will generally take no more than a single year, and may take less time, depending on the student’s schedule and the nature of the program. In addition, many programs allow the student to attend most or even all classes online, rather than in person. Online programs allow the student to complete their class work on their own schedule, rather than forcing them to attend classes at an inconvenient time. This can be very advantageous for individuals who are currently working or who have other demands on their time.
When considering a program, the student should also check to see if the program or school has been accredited by any private or public agency. For example, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has a voluntary process by which qualified veterinary assistant programs can be accredited by the organization. In addition to demonstrating the school’s professional qualifications, graduating from an accredited or certificated program may improve the student’s later employment options.
Finally, some veterinary assistant programs offer externships for their students. An externship is a short-term work experience program, where the student will work in a veterinary clinic in order to gain valuable practical experience. In addition to the educational benefits, externships can often assist the student in obtaining later employment, especially if he or she impresses the veterinary professionals supervising the externship.
The Duties of a Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary assistants help support veterinarians and veterinary technicians in the clinic. In general, veterinary assistants are not allowed to perform most types of veterinary treatments and must be directly supervised by either a vet tech or veterinarian.
In many cases, a veterinary assistant will work in the front office of a veterinary clinic, ensuring that all records are properly filed and recorded. Veterinary assistants will also record information provided by pet owners, as well as handle any financial transactions.
In terms of working with the animals that are currently under the care of the clinic, the veterinary assistant will provide the following services:
- Cleaning the housing areas, examination rooms and surgical areas of the veterinary clinic.
- Feeding and watering all animals that are currently under the care of the veterinary clinic.
- Observing the animals and reporting any signs of distress or illness to the veterinary assistant’s supervisor.
- Cleaning and sterilizing surgical tools, syringes and other equipment used by the veterinarian or vet tech.
The Benefits of Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Ohio
Currently, the demand for veterinary assistants is expected to remain steady for the near future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that job opportunities for veterinary assistants will increase by 14 percent between 2010 and 2020. In addition, the current annual median salary for Ohio veterinary assistants is nearly $22,000, which is competitive with other fields that have similar educational requirements.
Becoming a veterinary assistant is not simply an effective career move, but allows the individual to become an integral part of providing excellent care to America’s beloved companion animals. With excellent professional and personal advancement prospects, becoming a veterinary assistant can be a very rewarding choice for newly graduated adults and older individuals like.
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