How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Connecticut

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How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Connecticut

The increasing number of pet lovers and stray animals on our streets, lead to the rise in the number of animal clinics, hospitals, and shelters, thus affecting the necessity for the larger number of veterinarians who will need to take care of them.

Their work does not include only pets, but also livestock, zoo and laboratory animals.

However, the veterinary work cannot be successful without the help of his/her staff, consisting of veterinary technicians and assistants.

Commonly, the staff does not diagnose illnesses and perform medical procedures and surgeries, but they are involved in all the other daily activities of the animal hospital.

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Job Description

Veterinary assistants are usually people who look after the animals in clinics, animal hospitals, zoos, and animal shelters.

They perform this job because they have a desire to work with and help animals in need.

Their everyday duties are handling pets, pharmacy and laboratory tasks, radiology and diagnostic imaging, legal issues, veterinary computer programs, hospital maintenance and dealing with clients, among many others.

Being that the welfare of the pets is of crucial importance for pet owners, the veterinary assistant job becomes even more demanding.

Veterinary assistants support licensed veterinarians in providing health care to animals and their tasks are varied, but everybody would say that the way to have success in this field is the immense love towards animals.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Connecticut

Veterinary assistants do not have to be educated people and veterinary schools and universities are not obligatory.

However, they need to have some knowledge about animal care because their job requires helping pets, pet owners and veterinarians.

Even though education higher than high school is not required, the skills that a veterinary assistant has to possess are communication, good listening end empathy skills.

Those skills are important because he/she connects veterinarians, pets and pet owners.

They need to listen, calm down and understand distressed pet owners, as well as to sympathize with them.

On the other hand, some people are into becoming more educated in this field and achieve all the necessary knowledge related to animal care.

Those candidates might enter some of the courses and schools to get the certificate about the education achieved about veterinary studies.

That way, they will improve their chances of being the first on the list of becoming employed.

Veterinary assistant programs in Connecticut are:

  • Manchester Community College
  • Middlesex Community Colleg
  • Northwest Connecticut Community College

They give their students the proof that they achieved the required knowledge, pass all the exams, thus they become licensed veterinary assistants.

Requirements

Connecticut has no minimum amount of educational requirements for veterinary assistants and a veterinary assistant can be a person with no formal animal health qualifications, taking into consideration that he/she works under the instruction of the veterinarian.

However, a higher qualification level and certification help people get more self-esteem, become confident about what they are doing and be more independent in their work.

Once certified, veterinary assistants can even perform minor surgery on animals without the supervision of a veterinarian, which makes him/her a valuable member of an animal healthcare team.

For those interested in becoming quality licensed veterinary assistants which will not only lead to easier job finding, but a higher salary the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has organized 35 approved programs and various online programs throughout the USA.

These programs are available to those veterinary assistants who are already working and are not licensed.

Getting a Job

Once the training is successfully finished, a veterinary assistant is in search for a job, which might not be such a big problem, having in mind the fact that numerous clinics and hospitals are looking for assistants eager to start working in the desired field, and the similar situation is in Connecticut.

Potential employers in Connecticut are:

  • VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
    • VCA Bristol Animal Hospital
    • VCA Valley Animal Hospital
    • VCA Foxon Animal Hospital
    • VCA Plainfield Animal Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospital.
    • Waterbury
    • North Haven
    • Norwalk
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO
    • Located in Avon Petco
    • Located in Danbury Petco
    • Located in North Haven Petco
    • Located in Stratford Petco

Salary

Regarding the fact that the annual salary of a veterinary assistant varies among the cities throughout the state, it is estimated that it can range from $31,724 in New London, up to $34,177 in Stamford and Norwalk per year.

Social factors, like the development of the city and the annual income of the citizens, the experience and number of working hours of a veterinary assistant all have an impact on the salary.

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

Annual Salary Range:
$31K
$32K
$34K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Bridgeport,CT$33,680
Bristol,CT$32,020
Danbury,CT$32,914
East Hartford,CT$32,066
Fairfield,CT$33,680
Greenwich,CT$34,177
Hamden,CT$32,613
Hartford,CT$32,066
Manchester,CT$32,066
Meriden,CT$32,020
Milford,CT$33,680
New Britain,CT$32,020
New Haven,CT$32,613
New London,CT$31,724
Norwalk,CT$34,177
Norwich,CT$31,872
Stamford,CT$34,177
Stratford,CT$33,680
Waterbury,CT$31,961
West Hartford,CT$32,066
West Haven,CT$32,613

Duties

The need for skilled veterinary assistants is at a constant increase over time.

The duties that their job includes are cleaning the cages and equipment, preparing and sanitizing surgery, feeding and exercising animals, as well as administrative work.

Those more educated and interested in learning more are even entrusted with more serious tasks like prepare samples for lab examination and do minor surgeries.

Some of the veterinary assistant daily responsibilities are:
• Cooperating with pet owners and staff members
• Arrangement of appointments and visits
• Inventory control
• Assistance in surgery, examination and filling prescriptions
• Animal walking, feeding, cleaning, and training, just to mention a few.

The bigger and more popular hospital, the greater responsibilities and duties for the veterinary staff.

Summary

Whether educated or not, veterinary assistants should be respected and appreciated, since their job is far more demanding than anyone could imagine and the underestimated beliefs that their job is naïve are mistaken, having in mind all the difficulties that the veterinary assistant has to face with.

So, if we want our animals to be well, the last thing we can do is to appreciate the effort that veterinary clinic staff is making for them and do our best to make their job less stressful, about the cooperation with us.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State


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