People who are compassionate and empathetic, responsible while performing administrative tasks, patient and careful, and above all these have a genuine love for animals should think about entering the veterinary field and become one of the valuable members of this great team.
Veterinary medicine is growing due to the increasing number of pet owners, offering an abundance of jobs for people passionate about animal welfare and focused on helping the animals in need.
Veterinary assistant is an important team member.
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The communication skills of a veterinary assistant should be excellent since he/she needs to cooperate not only with the veterinarian but also with other veterinary staff and clients.
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One of their numerous roles is assisting veterinarians in a practice with animal care.
They might be asked to administer vaccinations, draw blood for testing, or assist during surgical procedures as well.
They also deal with scheduling appointments and help maintain a clean, healthy waiting area and examination rooms.
If the assistant is working in a hospital with accommodation for treated animals, they are also responsible for supervising animals, providing them with proper feeding and water and keeping their areas clean and sanitary.
Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Mississippi
A love for and comfort with animals and pets of all kinds is the first and foremost requirement of a veterinary assistant.
High school students can enter courses within their high school curriculum to be able to start working immediately after they get a high school diploma.
Additionally, being a good and self-confident veterinary assistant requires some technical or vocational training and certification.
The ideal candidate for this kind of profession needs to be willing to learn new skills and develop his/her abilities as an assistant.
That is why more and more employers want to hire people who have certifications from veterinary schools.
This is justified by the fact that they need people who are ready to perform medical duties associated with animal care once they start working.
Potential colleges and programs offered by them in Mississippi are:
- Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
- Itawamba Community College
- Holmes Community College
When it comes to requirements for entering those programs or courses, there are no previous work or education necessities for entry into any course level.
Participants may enroll directly if they possess a high school diploma or GED equivalency.
However, once the courses are finished, certified veterinary assistants can expect higher potential salary, positions, and skill capabilities.
The NAVTA program allows students to learn from qualified professionals to improve their skills related to animal health issues, injuries and illnesses, animal anatomy and physiology and animal handling and transportation.
Candidates can choose to complete the courses that can study at their own pace completing their studies in the period that best suits their learning style, which is an excellent advantage for those who already work and do not have too much free time to dedicate to studying.
There are NAVTA courses that offer veterinary assistant programs to their students.
They need to enter one of 36 approved programs throughout the U.S. and Canada or 4 online programs.
Once they take and pass the AVA exam, they become approved Mississippi veterinary assistants.
Then, their AVA is required to be renewed every two years, so they will need to fulfill 10 continuing education credits.
Getting a Job
Usually, veterinary assistants work in veterinary services, such as animal hospitals and clinics.
More educated and advanced assistants look for jobs at colleges, laboratories or animal shelters.
Nowadays, veterinarians tend to look for assistants who have more education and experience in the field, thus leading to slightly higher salaries.
There is a variety of job offers and finding a job is not such a big problem, bearing in mind the fact that the growth of animal health centers leads to the increasing volume of work.
This is the list of potential veterinary assistant employers in Mississippi:
- Banfield Pet Hospitals located in Mississippi.
- Mississippi Animal Hospitals
- North State Animal Hospital
- Brookhaven Animal Hospital
- Horn Lake Animal Hospital
- Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual salary of a veterinary assistant varies among the cities around the USA and especially among the cities within one particular state.
In Mississippi, it is estimated that an average veterinary assistant annual salary ranges from $ 25 011 in Tupelo up to $ 28 006 in Southaven.
Mississippi cannot boast itself with high pay rates since it belongs to those states where the average annual salary of a veterinary assistant is low in comparison with some other states.
The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Mississippi annually since it varies from one place to another.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Every day is distinct from the previous one when the veterinary assistants’ duties are in question.
Excellent communication skills, understanding of animal behavior and good organization are obligatory to be able to accomplish all their daily tasks.
Less demanding duties include answering phone calls and booking appointments.
More responsibility is required when they interact with animals, train owners in drug administration, take and develop x-rays, collect urine and fecal samples, perform laboratory tests, etc.
All these serious tasks require a higher level of knowledge than can be gained by simply observing the work of a veterinarian.
That is why the assistants with qualifications are more self-confident and prepared for all kinds of difficulties that can come during the day.
Working in a veterinary hospital is equal to working in a human hospital, as the role of veterinary assistant can be equated with the role of a nurse in a hospital.
Both of them prepare everything necessary for a clinic to function during a working day.
People care about their pets and animals, even more, these days and the role pets take in people’s lives is so important that they lay all their hope into a veterinary team.
So, the veterinary assistant, who interacts with clients, needs to understand the complex relationships between animals and people.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant