How To Become a Veterinary Assistant in Alaska

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How To Become a Veterinary Assistant in Alaska

Have you ever thought of how hard it is for animal lovers once their beloved pet is ill or injured?

Do you consider a veterinary hospital a place of greater significance than the human hospital?

Some would say that it is all too exaggerated, but pet holders would not agree with that.

For them, the life of an animal is of equal importance as the life of a human being, and they completely rely on veterinary clinics and veterinarians, when it comes to that situation.

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However, just a part of the whole job there is based on veterinarians themselves.

All the staff working there has their role in dealing with pets and pet owners, in this kind of a stressful situation.

Job Description

A veterinary assistant is a person who is in charge of less important, but not at all insignificant issues, regarding administration, answering questions, preparing a surgery and sterilize the equipment after it among many others.

The scheduling of appointments is the least noteworthy daily activity of a veterinary assistant, since they perform the lab work, collecting urine samples, take care of animals being treated correctly after the surgery.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Alaska

When becoming a veterinary assistant in Alaska, you do not necessarily have to possess a certificate, but it is advisable to at least have a high school diploma or GED equivalency.

It is always given priority to those candidates that possess some kind of certificate about the education achieved about veterinary studies.

So, if you are interested in becoming a veterinary assistant with a certificate, there are high schools in Alaska that offer veterinary assistant programs to their students.

There are also online programs and certificate programs offered by numerous post-secondary schools.

Some of the campus and programs that offer this kind of education in Alaska are:

  • Charter College Alaska
  • Mat-Su College and
  • The University of Alaska Anchorage.

Once you have passed all their exams, you will become a veterinary assistant provided with essential education, to be able to perform this job.

Requirements

Your desire to help animals tied with passed certification programs will be enough to prepare you to become a veterinary assistant who is a valuable member of an animal healthcare team.

Training includes curriculums that deal with veterinary assistance and formal instruction, who teaches students how to identify breeds, medical terminology, ways to administer medications and much more.

Once you complete it, it means that you are qualified to take the AVA examination and if you pass it, you will be issued a certificate.

Furthermore, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has organized 35 approved programs in the USA and various online programs, which can also be interesting for those who are into becoming veterinary assistants.

Some of the NAVTA programs and campuses offered out of Arizona are:

There are options for people who are already veterinary assistants and are working a full-service veterinary practice, as well as for the beginners and the programs usually take six months to a year.

Getting a Job

Besides doing well in your courses, another important thing after successfully finishing them is to find a satisfying job.

Alaska has to offer a lot of animal clinics and hospitals where future veterinary assistants can work.

 Some of them are:

  • Alaska State Veterinary Medical Association
  • AKVMA, which gives a chance of searching for a convenient employer.
  • VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
  • VCA Alaska Pet Care Animal Hospital
  • VCA Bering Sea Animal Hospital
  • VCA Eagle River Animal Hospital
  • VCA Big Lake Animal Hospital
  • Alaska Veterinary Clinic  Alaska Veterinary Clinic
  • North Pole Veterinary Hospital just to mention a few.

Some of these clinics have awards for the great care of all kinds of pets.

Some of them offer dentistry services, too.

There are also services like microchipping, parasite prevention, dermatology and much more.

The chances are equal for all the candidates since nobody can predict who will be hired because the criteria on which the employers decide is up to the individuals.

Nevertheless, better positioned among participants are those with the certificate, for sure.

Salary

The annual salary of a veterinary assistant distinguishes among the cities around Alaska, depending on numerous factors, such as several clinics in that area, availability of them, development and annual salary of the citizens, which all affect the average salary of an Alaska veterinary assistant.

It is estimated to be $29,050. But pay rates might range from $33,000 in Anchorage, up to $38,000 per year.

When it comes to the assistant himself, the usual factors that affect the amount of money earned are experience, number of working hours and work setting.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Alaska annually since it varies from one place to another.

Annual Salary Range:
$32K
$33K
$33K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Anchorage,AK$33,680
Fairbanks,AK$33,502
Juneau,AK$33,147
Palmer,AK$33,236
Sitka,AK$32,702
Wasilla,AK$33,236

Duties

The duties of a veterinary assistant are huge and all animal health care clinics trust them and consider their services crucial in their daily activities.

Veterinary assistant skills are so diverse that they can complete a wide array of duties.

Their responsibilities are versatile and make their job an exciting experience.

Veterinary assistant responsibilities are:

  • Dealing with clients and answering all their questions and demands
  • Scheduling appointments and visits
  • Cooperating with other vet facilities
  • Checking and maintain inventory
  • Sanitizing equipment and cages properly
  • Assisting the doctor in all his/her work
  • Keeping updated medical records
  • Feed, clean and walk animals

These are just their regular activities.

Not to mention some other demanding tasks that veterinary assistants in rescue centers and animal rehabilitation centers have to perform.

Summary

The job of a veterinary assistant is indeed underestimated, believing that their job is naïve and not demanding at all.

However, it can only be said by the person who did not have a chance of watching just one working day of a veterinary assistant and perceiving all the difficulties that he/she has to face, regarding both the sick animal and even more concerned owner.

Their duties are demanding, which means that they are seriously involved in the medical care and curing process of wounded or ill animals, and it should be respected.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State


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