Veterinary Assistant

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Job Summary

The responsibilities of veterinary assistants are to help the technicians, doctors and receptionists in all duties of the hospital. The responsibilities vary with the current needs of the hospital staff and individual abilities demonstrated by the veterinary assistant.

Veterinary assistants must build positive, professional relationships with clients and staff members.Full time veterinary assistants should have completed their high school diplomas and must pursue significant on-the-job training.

Hourly Pay Rate: $13.50 – $16.50, depending on experience

Education and Experience

  • Preferred: High School graduate or equivalent
  • Preferred: 1+ year veterinary emergency experience

Knowledge and Skills

  • Follow OSHA standards. Be able to find Material Safety Data Sheets quickly.
  • Use proper medical terminology when speaking and writing.
  • Be familiar with zoonotic (contagious) diseases, including their prevention and steps to reduce or eliminate transmission. 
  • Know the policies regarding provision of veterinary care, treatment of stray animals, deposits for hospitalized patients, payments, credit, pet health insurance, and finance fees. 
  • Competently speak and write the English language.

General Tasks  

  • Possess and expresses a genuine love for animals and for working in an animal care environment.
  • Always be in position and prepared to work by the start of each scheduled shift.
  • Maintain accurate personal time cards.
  • Maintain a professional, friendly demeanor while on the job. 
  • Perform job tasks efficiently promptly and efficiently when asked. Promote a positive attitude among staff.
  • Be willing and available to stay late or through breaks, when needed, to assist with emergency or critical-care patients.
  • Show respect for clients, team members, and animals (alive or deceased) at all times.
  • Effectively communicate with and educate clients. Support what fellow staff members have said to clients.
  • Have the physical strength and ability to stand for an entire shift when needed, and be able to lift pets and objects weighing up to 40 pounds without assistance. Assist in lifting patients weighing more than 40 pounds.
  • Engage in productive work during slow periods.
  • Assist other employees as needed. Avoid waiting for coworkers to ask for assistance.
  • Stock hospital supplies, pharmaceutical supplies, and over-the-counter products.
  • Ensure that medical supplies are always available. Add new items to the list of depleted supplies.
  • Regularly check for outdated supplies. Remove and replace them as directed by the office manager.
  • Participate in your performance appraisal, and, as requested, in those of others.
  • Participate in staff and training meetings.

Front-Office Tasks  

  • Know phone functions, including hold, intercom
  • Answer the phone by the third ring when receptionists are preoccupied or unavailable.
  • Assist receptionists in keeping the facility’s reception area and room(s) clean and tidy. 
  • Access client information within the practice-management software system. Enter and retrieve client and patient data in the computer.
  • When time allows go up front and welcome your client into the room to keep appointments flowing smoothly. 

Patient-Admittance Tasks  

  • Advise clients of special call-in times to check on patients or speak with doctors.
  • Explain delays that affect clients. Ensure the comfort of clients and patients during their waits. Offer water to clients or patients in need (or withhold water from patients as appropriate). Reschedule appointments as needed.
  • Call for waiting clients using pets’ names and clients’ last names. Lead them to exam rooms.
  • Transfer incoming patients to appropriate wards and ensure the comfort of clients and patients. Identify patients with cage sheets and/or neck bands. 
  • Assist clients with unruly or unrestrained pets. When assisting receptionists, ensure that all dogs are leashed immediately after arrival and that cats and smaller pets are caged. Isolate aggressive pets. Request assistance if needed.

Medical-Record Management Tasks  

  • Understand the electronic medical records system (Ezyvet) 
  • Understand and use special record notations, including male, female, aggressive, caution, and/or inactive.
  • Record doctors’ and technicians’ notes in patients’ computer records.
  • Make notes in patients’computer files of relevant phone or in-person conversations with clients, and place time stamp (ctrl + D) after such entries.
  • Verify and/or witness clients’ statements regarding procedures, including euthanasias.

Exam-Room Tasks  

  • Possess sufficient strength and assertiveness to effectively restrain patients and ensure the safety of clients and staff. 
  • Clean and straighten exam rooms to prepare for incoming patients. Spray disinfectant on exam tables, wipe them clean, and dry them. Remove sources of offensive odors; empty trash if necessary. Check floors, walls, doors, and counters, and sweep or clean them as needed to remove hair, body fluids, and dirt.
  • Measure and record each patient’s weight. 
  • Assist technicians with routine exam-room procedures, such as venipunctures, skin scrapings, fine-needle aspirates, corneal stains, and ear treatments 
  • Keep exam rooms stocked with bandage materials, and prepackaged dispensable products. Regularly restock exam rooms.

Basic Patient-Care Tasks  

  • Prioritize tasks to maximize clients’ satisfaction and patients’ health.
  • Maximize patients’ comfort with a gentle and reassuring manner. 
  • Monitor patients for vomit, blood, urine, and feces in the cage, and clean patients and cages as needed. Save debris if unsure whether it should be examined. Note incidents in charts.
  • Monitor patients’ behaviors and note potentially aggressive behaviors. Use caution when handling aggressive or potentially aggressive pets. Request assistance when needed.
  • Monitor changes in patients’ conditions. Alert doctors or technicians to significant changes.
  • Do not restrain animals that have no previous known vaccine history, if you are not vaccinated for Rabies if they are demonstrating neurologic symptoms.
  • Follow isolation cleaning procedures. Prevent contact between contagious animals and others. Using the designated products and dilutions for disinfectants, properly disinfect your shoes, hands, and clothing before leaving isolation areas.
  • Walk dogs on a double leash. Ensure that they are restrained and under your control at all times.
  • Assess hospitalized patients’ temperatures, pulse rates, respiratory rates, and respiratory qualities, and record data in appropriate records.
  • Provide medical grooming, including medicated baths, dips, and matte removal.
  • Clip hair in a manner that minimizes clipper burn. Maintain clean clipper blades and lubricate them on a regular basis.
  • Use warning stickers and notations on cage cards and records as appropriate.
  • Disinfect cages as soon as possible after patients are removed from them.

Patient-Treatment Tasks  

  • Understand the mechanics and application of basic standards of asepsis.
  • Trim nails to the quick without causing bleeding. 
  • Understand how to stop bleeding by using styptic pencils, powder, or other means.

General Technical Tasks  

  • Restrain pets in a manner that allows necessary work to be performed, minimizes stress to patients, and ensures the safety of patients and people. Safely and effectively apply and use restraints such as muzzles, towels, gloves, and cat bags.
  • Understand the paperwork and procedures of outside laboratories used by the practice.
  • Perform routine ELISA tests, such as heartworm and feline viral tests. Set up and read urine specific gravities.

Reporting Relationship

  • Reports to: Supervising Technician


  • Matching 401(k)          
  • Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance 
  • PTO including some Paid Holidays (based on position’s schedule)
  • Career training environment 
  • Discretionary Employee Bonus Program
  • Employee Pet Discount
  • Reimbursable Expenses including Scrub allowance and training