A veterinary assistant is a person who is not credentialed as a veterinary technician, but who assists a veterinarian in supplying medical care for animals.
Even though their salary is not high, many of them say that they are satisfied with their job and it is fulfilling that their job makes the world a better place by helping make someone else’s life better.
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The main duty of a veterinary assistant is scheduling appointments and first contact with the client.
That is why they need to be communicative and emphatic, they need to understand the emotions of the distressed pet owner and be ready for all kinds of reactions.
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Other responsibilities of veterinary assistants are to clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment and administer medication as prescribed by veterinarians.
On a normal workday, they provide emergency first aid to sick or injured animals in case the veterinarian is not available at that particular moment.
In addition to that, they assist the veterinarian during the examination and surgery.
Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Nevada
Courses and programs are offered through high schools, online and in colleges and veterinary medical associations.
When choosing a program you should look for an accredited veterinary technology program which is always the best option.
These programs are designed and taught by people with experience and education in veterinary medicine.
This is the easiest way to enter the world of veterinary practice, and the certification carries various advantages and opens opportunities for you.
Two veterinary assistant campuses in Nevada are:
- Carrington College
- Pima Medical Institute
There are no special education requirements in any state in the US.
You do not even have to be trained to work as a veterinary assistant.
Nevertheless, more and more already employed veterinary assistants decide to enter veterinary assisting certification courses to gain knowledge and practice and become more successful in this field.
NAVTA offers various programs throughout the USA and Canada where you can study pet care and become more effective while increasing your job prospects.
Experienced instructors teach students about their daily obligations and focus on medical terminology, how to identify different breeds, how to administer medication as well as train them to successfully assist veterinarians.
Once you pass all the exams and get a certificate, you will not find yourself in a situation when you do not know what to do and the animal life is in your hands, as it used to happen to some of the non-educated assistants.
So, both experienced, full-time employed and inexperienced veterinary assistants decide to enter campuses and online programs to become more self-confident, learn the skills and get the appropriate training.
You can select from three options offered by NAVTA:
- Externship Option- for inexperienced people.
- Experiential Learner – for veterinary assistants who are working 20 hours weekly.
- Veterinary Assistant Program – for employed veterinary assistants that are working in a full-service veterinary practice.
Once you get your license, it is necessary to renew it every two years, to stay current as a Nevada AVA.
Getting a Job
If you possess a high school diploma and want to work as a veterinary assistant, you can learn the occupation on the job, while helping veterinarians and this is a frequent situation in many veterinary clinics throughout Nevada.
This means that it is not difficult to find a job as a veterinary assistant.
However, you should pay attention to the job requirements and whether you can perform them.
Usually, smaller private clinics offer jobs for those who have no certification, but in those more reputable ones, the license is necessary to be able to complete daily activities.
Veterinary assistant employers in Nevada are:
- VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
- Banfield Pet Hospital
- Las Vegas Durango
- Deer Park
- Las Vegas Craig Rd
Good job opportunities are offered by numerous veterinary assistant employers but your eligibility depends on your education and experience.
The increasing number of clinics will lead to more job openings and eventually to higher salaries.
Veterinary assistants usually work in veterinary practices and clinics nationwide or they may find work in zoos and animal shelters.
Their salary depends on many factors since some clinics and animal hospitals are open 24/7 and assistants have to work night shifts and weekends which increase their income.
Veterinary assistant pay rates also vary by employer, geographic location, and experience.
As a veterinary assistant, you can expect to earn not so high wages, since in Nevada they range from $29 767 in Sun Valley and Sparks up to $30 834 in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.
Below is the table showing salaries in different places, but it can be said that the difference is not so extensive.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|North Las Vegas,NV||$30,834|
Regional Salary in Nevada
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV||820||$32,410||$15.58||$35,030||$29,600|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
The primary duty of a veterinary assistant is working with other assistants, veterinary technicians, and veterinarians, as well as with pet owners.
They need to ensure that examinations, treatments, and interventions are performed efficiently and professionally.
They should be willing to learning something new about animals every day.
Half of the duties are related to assisting in clinical care, such as restraining pets for examinations and perform basic treatments and medications under the supervision of a veterinarian, while the other half is associated with clinical operations support and administrative support.
So, if you love animals and have dreamt about a job where you will be able to help them in need, a veterinarian assistant may be a rewarding job for you.
Animals deserve much attention and the number of those interested in animal welfare is increasing daily.
As a veterinary assistant, you might have a thrilling career working with both people and domestic or wild animals depending on the hospital where you find the job.
If you decide to try your luck in this field, bear in mind that a good veterinary assistant must be a reliable, hard-working person, dedicated to this job and extremely passionate about the animals.