Veterinary medicine is the field that offers an abundance of the job for everyone eager to work on the team where everybody is passionate about animal welfare, focused on one goal and that is helping the animals in need.
The staff working on this team, besides the veterinarians themselves, is veterinary assistants, veterinary technicians, kennel staff and they are all doing this job simply because they have a desire to work with and help animals!
Most people nowadays take care of pets and they become members of their families, meaning that the welfare of their pets is of crucial importance, and that makes the veterinary assistant job even more demanding.
They do not only have to work with animals that they have loved their entire lives, but also have to deal with upset owners which leads to more problems.
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However, knowing that the team is in this together and that everybody there wants the same outcome these kinds of issues are easily solved.
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Veterinary assistants do not have to be educated people who finished veterinary schools and universities, but still, they need to learn everything about animal care like medical conditions, diets, surgeries, parasites, vaccines and more.
Their job requires helping pets, pet owners and veterinarians.
Veterinary Assistant has to possess great communication skills since he/she connects veterinarians, pets and pet owners.
They need to be good listeners as they make the first contact with pet owners.
A veterinary assistant must sympathize with how the stressed pet owners are feeling and support them, so empathy is obligatory and necessary.
Some of their other, less demanding duties are answering phone calls and booking appointments.
Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Arkansas
When becoming a veterinary assistant in Alaska, a high school diploma or GED equivalency is enough.
However, this kind of education does not provide you with all the necessary knowledge related to animal care and that is why those candidates who possess some kind of certificate about the education achieved about veterinary studies are always first on the list of becoming employed.
For those interested in becoming veterinary assistants with a certificate, there are campuses throughout Arkansas that offer veterinary assistant programs to their students.
- Arkansas State University-Beebe
- East Arkansas Community College
- National Park College and
- Southeast Arkansas College
Once you have passed all the exams, you become a licensed veterinary assistant and this improves your chances of getting a job in Arkansas since animal healthcare clinics are looking to hire veterinary assistants who know what their duties are and how to perform them.
In most countries in the USA, a veterinary assistant is a person with no formal animal health qualifications, since he/she can do the job under their direct instruction of the veterinarian.
However, training programs that offer license or certification is required to perform the role to reach a higher qualification level.
Certified veterinary assistants can even perform some examinations and minor surgery on animals, without the supervision of a veterinarian.
So, a veterinary assistant is a valuable member of an animal healthcare team.
Thus, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has organized 35 approved programs in the USA and various online programs to help those interested in becoming assistants achieve knowledge and qualifications:
Some of the NAVTA programs are:
- East Valley Institute of Technology,
- Jessamine Career and Technology Center, among others.
Even those veterinary assistants who are already working and are not licensed, have a chance of getting a certificate within six months to a year.
Getting a Job
The finding of a satisfying job is another issue and when veterinary assistants are in question, finding a job is not such a big problem.
Having in mind the fact that numerous clinics and hospitals are looking for assistants who know what they need to do, it is not too problematic to start working in the desired field.
Some of the veterinary assistant employers in Arkansas are:
- ArVMA (Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association)
- Jonesboro Family Pet Hospital
- Banfield Pet Hospital.
As well as pet hospitals located in Arkansas:
- Little Rock and
- North Little Rock.
Those clinics offer great care of all kinds of pets and their services include microchipping, parasite prevention, dermatology and much more.
Whether you will need a certification or not, so as to be able to get the job here depends on the role that you will be performing, since there are veterinary assistants who have a simple role to directly assist the veterinarian under direction, but there are also duties that demand the higher level of education of a veterinary assistant.
As in any other country, the annual salary of a veterinary assistant varies among the cities around Arkansas.
It is estimated to range from $ 25,586 in Fort Smith, up to $ 27,810 in Jonesboro per year.
The amount of money earned depends not only on social factors, like the development of the city, the annual income of the citizens, the location of the hospital, but also on the experience, number of working hours and work setting of the veterinary assistant himself/herself.
The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Arkansas annually since it varies from one place to another.Annual Salary by Location:
|Avg. Annual Salary
Regional Salary in Arkansas
|Avg. Annual Salary
|Avg. Hourly Pay
|Top 10% Annual Salary
|Bottom 10% Annual Salary
|Fort Smith, AR-OK
|Hot Springs, AR
|Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Once the right training is finished, a veterinary assistant can turn his/her ambition into a fulfilling career.
Besides the necessary empathy and communication skills that can help you work with the many animals and humans who are worried about the health condition of their pets, a good assistant need to have good working relationships with the entire veterinary team in a veterinary clinic or hospital.
Veterinary assistants often have to work with technical machinery and lab equipment, with blood work and urinalysis, maintains medical records and clients’ contact information, book appointments.
So, the duties of a veterinary assistant are vast and all animal health care clinics rely on them and consider their services crucial in their daily activities.
Some of the other veterinary assistant responsibilities are:
- Checking and maintain inventory
- Sanitizing equipment and cages properly
- Feed, clean and walk animals just to mention a few.