Veterinary Assistants are an integral part of the veterinary team. Moraine Valley’s Veterinary Assistant Program is a one-semester, NAVTA-approved noncredit course that includes more than 150 hours of classroom instruction and field trips plus 100 hours of externship experience working in a clinical setting to get you ready for your new career. Topics covered in class are office and hospital procedures, client communication, and relations, pharmacy and pharmacology, exam room procedures, small animal nursing, surgical assisting, laboratory procedures, and radiology.
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The topics covered in the Veterinary Assistant Pre-Professional Program include: medical terminology; animal behavior and handling; medication administration; preventative care; laboratory safety; radiology procedures; surgical prep, monitoring and recovery, and aseptic practices to help prevent the spread of disease.

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion, which could be used to satisfy some entrance requirements in more advanced veterinary career programs.

Employment of Veterinary Assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. These workers are expected to be needed to assist veterinarians and other veterinary care staff.

Increases in consumers’ pet-related expenditures are expected to drive employment in the veterinary services industry, which employs most veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers. In these establishments, veterinary assistants help veterinarians and veterinary technicians and technologists with various veterinary procedures. Demand for veterinary assistants will continue as the demand for veterinary procedures increases.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics

The topics covered in the Veterinary Assistant Pre-Professional Program include:

  • Veterinary office practices (medical records, documentation, legalities, ethics, professionalism)
  • Medical terminology
  • Animal behavior and handling
  • Pharmacology
  • End of life care, pet loss, grief, and compassion fatigue
  • Basic animal care assisting
  • Surgical assisting and patient monitoring
  • Dental assisting
  • Laboratory safety, equipment, and procedures
  • Diagnostic imaging (radiology, MRI, cat scan, etc)
  • Large and exotic animal care
  • Emergency and critical care
  • Client education
  • Career development

Students must be over the age of 18 with a high school diploma, GED or high school equivalency certificate.


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