What qualifications do you need to become a vet assistant?

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Karyn in Brampton, Ontario

30 months ago

Olinja said: u dumb why would u want 2 become something that pay 8.50 hours that proproply cant even pay ur bills,car bill,phone bill,house payment u probaly need 100 som dollars but anyway i hope u enjoy ur cool job so GOODLUCK AT 8.50 HAAAAHAAAA DUMMMBYYYYYYYYY

You sound very mature - NOT !! Perhaps some people's love of animals is enough. I am looking into it also, which would reduce my salary to 1/3 of what it is now. However after a severe clinical depression / nervous breakdown - if I can make in a job that I would love vs. one that stresses me totaly (8 months off work now, I would gladly take it. I am sure that I am a lot older than you, but one day you may see the light.

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pinklove232 in Los Gatos, California

30 months ago

i have a question... if im only 14 and i need to get a job as a vet assistant for a biology ag project what do i dooo????

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Betty in Glendora, California

30 months ago

pinklove232 in Los Gatos, California said: i have a question... if im only 14 and i need to get a job as a vet assistant for a biology ag project what do i dooo????

you need a work permit to work when you're under 16yrs old. however, you can volunteer regardless of your age. i suggest you look around vet clinics and ask if they are needing volunteers.

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cat lady in Charlotte, North Carolina

29 months ago

I am 15 too but a couple websites say you should probably take the 6 month course but they also say that most clinics do on the job training. I would probably take the 6 month course so that I get some experience in college and learn certain things.

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Lisa W in Seattle, Washington

29 months ago

I dunno what all the rules are state by state, but I know one vet tech I work with, once upon a time anyway, didn't go to vet tech school and still became a RVT later. She worked her way up and learned all she knew on the job (probably books too) and then sat for the national exam and passed. She's very good and knowledgeable too. I know that's the route I'd rather go because I don't have the time, money, or effort to wanna go back to school. I'm a veterinary kennel assistant and I have sort of worked my way up somewhat and it seems I'm always learning small things here and there.

I definitely say to ANYONE wanting to be an assistant or tech, to get a job at a clinic first, or volunteer in a clinic setting, BEFORE going to school. See if you like the work or not. The work can be stressful and physical at times. And vet tech school isn't cheap and apparently techs don't make THAT much anyway.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

29 months ago

In the vast majority of states you can't just "work your way up" and then sit for the exams. In fact, the owners of the VTNE no longer allow anyone to take their test without having a degree from an AVMA accredited program.

"Grandfathering in" is typically only allowed when a state first starts credentialing technicians but gets phased out pretty quickly.

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Toni in Sheffield, United Kingdom

29 months ago

People like you need to be put down. You don't like animals? Fair enough, they may not like you. Keep your opionions to yourself, or share them with people that actually give a crap. Your a little rodent. Cherio.

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doctor54321 in Blanco, Texas

29 months ago

Being a vetranarian isnt all fun and games you have to be good at math and science, enjoy learning, work hard , and most of all have PATIENCE

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N/A in Blanco, Texas

29 months ago

I JUST HAVE 2 SAY 1 THING U NEED 2 LUV THE ANIMALS PERIOD

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N/A in Blanco, Texas

29 months ago

U ARE TOTTALY RIGHT

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I HRT ANIMALS in Blanco, Texas

29 months ago

YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT IF YOUR LOOKING FOR A JOB INVOLVING ANIMALS THEY R SO FRAGILE IF U COMPARE THEM 2 US

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Rae in Kingston, Ontario

29 months ago

Caroline Richardson in Manchester, United Kingdom said: I`m a qualified Vet Nurse (VN) in the UK with 11 years experience - the qualification in the UK is supplied under The Royal College of Vet surgeons. I had to do two years at college whilst working in a practice and sat both written and practical exams in order to gain my qualification. Does anyone know if I were to move to Canada how this would compare to qualifications for vet assistants there ? Would i need to complete further study or would I already be qualified to work ?

The Vet Assistant Course is only one year long. I'm sure you would be well qualified. The Vet Technician courses vary from 2-3 years, depending on if you want to go into a research facility or not. Keep your program outlines from your previous schooling and they should be able to see what you know/are missing, if anything.

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robinlynn in Irving, Texas

29 months ago

Karyn in Brampton, Ontario said: You sound very mature - NOT !! Perhaps some people's love of animals is enough. I am looking into it also, which would reduce my salary to 1/3 of what it is now. However after a severe clinical depression / nervous breakdown - if I can make in a job that I would love vs. one that stresses me totaly (8 months off work now, I would gladly take it. I am sure that I am a lot older than you, but one day you may see the light.

I was layed off a year ago from a company paying me $22.00 an hour. I felt it was time to do what I really wanted to do..I started the online courses to be a vet assistant and what i did is send a personal letter and resume to every vet office around Dallas/ft worth. I got a call and they said it would be a way to get my foot in the door..I only make $8 an hour and I work my butt off..I love animals and that is the only thing that keeps me going. Right now i only work 2 days a week. Do I need to find something that pays a lot better to go along with this. You might not think it is worth it when you work so hard and the money is crappy and sometimes you have to do things like yard work when things are slow, but hey..I got in the door..My love for animals is just so great and I have always had this passion to work with them. Just wish it did pay better. I'm not going to sugar coat it..It is hard work and low pay. But like others have said..it is rewarding

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

29 months ago

Robinlynn,
I would strongly suggest that you take advantage of your situation and location and earn a degree in veterinary technology. Veterinary assistant certifications aren't legally recognized and don't really carry much weight at all in the veterinary industry and aren't going to command really much better pay.
The Texas Assoc. of Registered Veterinary Technicians and Texas Veterinary Medical Association are both currently working on suggested changes to the legislation govering veterinary hospital staff to be submitted for the 2013 legislative session. Those recommendations for changes to legislature will include requiring licensure for veterinary technicians and putting more defined restrictions on the types of tasks that veterinary assistants can perform under specific levels of supervision. This means that veterinary technicians are going to be more valuable in the veterinary office becuase they are going to be able to perform more tasks with less supervision than a veterinary assistant.

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Karyn in Brampton, Ontario

29 months ago

Thank you, I will certainly look into this. I am in Ontario, Canada, but I can ask around as well as check the net to see if the same applies here.

Again, thank you,
Karyn

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natalie Law in Manchester, United Kingdom

28 months ago

im 16 years old and i'am in a animal care level 2 course, however this finishes in June and iv bin wanting to start an apprentiships for the following september in veterinary assistant, but im really strugguling to find any where, does any one have any tips that might help me ?

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Betty in Glendora, California

28 months ago

If you haven't done so already, I suggest making a CV with all the experience that you have. As far as getting an apprenticeship, it may depend if you're looking to be paid or not. I suggest you ring up local veterinarian offices and ask, or if you can, go in person. This may be a start.

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montana in Moulton, Alabama

28 months ago

when i`m at school all i worrie about is how am i gonna support my fammily and go to collage so i was wantin to know can you go online and studie without goin to collage...............

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DebbieLiz in Locust Grove, Georgia

28 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: You are not paying attention. There are NO ACCREDITED veterinary ASSISTANT programs. Veterinary assistant is the title for anyone working in a veterinary facility that hasn't met the criteria to be a veterinary technician. Certification as a veterinary assistant has very little value because of the difference in the private organizations that accredit assistants. You can come out of high school as a "certified veterinary assistant" without ever having put your hands on a cat or dog to restrain them. You can do an online program and answer questions and have a veterinary assistant certificate sent to you in the mail though you could have used whatever written materials you read to take all the tests.

The only accredited programs are VETERINARY TECHNOLOGY programs that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. You do not come out of these programs certified as a veterinary assistant but prepared to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam so that you can be credentialed as a veterinary technician.

I know this post is pretty old, but I just recently read that the VetMedTeam is acknowledging Vet Assistants and are offering them a certified Vet Assistant program approved by the NAVTA, for those with or without experience, and credits can be later used to continue on to a Vet Tech school. Go to vetmedteam.com this offer is new.

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DebbieLiz in Locust Grove, Georgia

28 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: You can find a list of AVMA accredited veterinary technology degree programs in Illinois here: www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_programs/illinois.asp

Veterinary technicians are licensed through the State of Illinois and must have a degree in veterinary technology from an AVMA accredited school. They are granted the title of "Certified Veterinary Technician". www.idfpr.com/profs/info/Vet.asp

The program at Harper College is not a veterinary technology degree program but a veterinary assistant certificate program. There is a big difference. Veterinary assisting certification is not legally recognized in any state nor will it change what a person can do as a veterinary health care team member.

VetMedTeam is now offering a certified Vet Assistant program approved by the NAVTA, for those with or without experience, and credits can be later used to continue on to a Vet Tech school. Go to vetmedteam.com this offer is new. I found this out when I went to apply for a job at Banfield Pet Hospital, they directed me to the vetmedteam.com

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DebbieLiz in Locust Grove, Georgia

28 months ago

I just recently read that the VetMedTeam is acknowledging Vet Assistants and are offering them a certified Vet Assistant program approved by the NAVTA (CVA), for those with or without experience, and credits can be later used to continue on to a Vet Tech school. Go to vetmedteam.com this offer is new. You have to be working already in a clinic for about 20 hours a week, and they give you all the courses you need to become a CVA. Many hospitals and clinics in my area are hiring those who have a certification from the NAVTA.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

28 months ago

Yes, you can take NAVTA's Approved Veterinary Assistant course through VetMedTeam. Or you can take a Certified Veterinary Assitant course through TVMA or 4act.com or the same TVMA veterinary assistant course is licensed out to a few other veterinary medical associations for use. These are going to be better options than alot of the veterinary assistant programs offered online but you still need to understand that they carry no legal recognition and do not change anything you can do in a veterinary facility.

These programs should not be confused with an AVMA accredited veterinary technology degree program and will not prepare someone to be a veterinary technician.

TVMA and NAVTA put these programs out because they knew that not everyone would want to get a veterinary technology degree so they have put together these training programs to provide a more standardized training program for vets to use for their OJT trained personnel.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

28 months ago

Neither NAVTA nor VetMedTeam state that certification through this progam will count towards credits towards and AVMA accredited degree in veterinary technology. I have emailed NAVTA to be sure.

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DebbieLiz in Locust Grove, Georgia

28 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: Neither NAVTA nor VetMedTeam state that certification through this progam will count towards credits towards and AVMA accredited degree in veterinary technology. I have emailed NAVTA to be sure.

I went back to the VetMedTeam website and this is what is written about their program: (I copied and pasted it)
The VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program (VMTVAP) is approved by NAVTA for the training of assistants and qualifies graduates to take the Approved Veterinary Assistant(AVA) designation exam. In addition, the program articulates for college credit at a number of the AVMA accredited technology programs.
*Notice where it says that the " program articulates for college credit at any AVMA Tech.
I am confused as to why they would tell you its not. I don't understand, but I guess I will contact them.
Thanks :-)

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DebbieLiz in Locust Grove, Georgia

28 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: Neither NAVTA nor VetMedTeam state that certification through this progam will count towards credits towards and AVMA accredited degree in veterinary technology. I have emailed NAVTA to be sure.

I went back to the VetMedTeam website and this is what is written about their program: (I copied and pasted it)
The VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program (VMTVAP) is approved by NAVTA for the training of assistants and qualifies graduates to take the Approved Veterinary Assistant(AVA) designation exam. In addition, the program articulates for college credit at a number of the AVMA accredited technology programs.
*Notice where it says that the " program articulates for college credit at any AVMA Tech.
I am confused as to why they would tell you its not. I don't understand, but I guess I will contact them.
Thanks :-)

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DebbieLiz in Locust Grove, Georgia

28 months ago

I'm sorry but I just got in contact with Lisa Keys from the VetMedTeam and she sent me a link which further explains about the Vet Assistant program. Please go here: www.vetmedteam.com/articulation_vmtap.aspx
It states that the Vet assisting program can articulate for college credit, and also shows a list of Vet Tech schools that are AVMA and will take these credits.

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Debbie in Wellington, New Zealand

27 months ago

hi im 13 and i want 2 start thinking bout my future and i want to b a vet i was woundering what qualificatons i'll need.

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missy in New Bedford, Massachusetts

27 months ago

did you have to take any course at all if so could you please email me them i really love animals and would love to work with them. my email is missymonteiro@gmail.com

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

27 months ago

No state requires any special education or training to work as a veterinary assistant. Most people who fill that position are trained on the job.

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Vet Asst Trainee in Long Beach, California

26 months ago

Here in the Los Angeles area, the Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP-LA) has volunteer veterinary assistant training program. There are five levels and the skills progress from level to level, building upon skills learned. SNPLA has 3 locations so far: Pico Rivera, San Pedro, and Van Nuys.

Visit their site to learn more about their vision, their mission, and their volunteer opportunities: www.snpla.org

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lovinlf4@yahoo.com in Virginia Beach, Virginia

26 months ago

To become a vet asst. you can start out volunteering but you do need to go to a school. one where you have access to live animals because you must learn to draw blood, cut nails, express anal glads and be able to run blood,fecal and urine cultures. also know what shots to give depending on the age of the animal and whether its a cat or dog the type. it takes a little over a year however it doesn't pay as much as people are saying it is just above min. wage yet long term employment you can work your way up in pay. having been certified as an asst. its better to do 2 the years of school to become a vet tech.
wish I had spent my money on that rather that the vet. asst. program.

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lovinlf4@yahoo.com in Virginia Beach, Virginia

26 months ago

Make a commitment and go thru with it even if it means a year or so more school!It's worth it.

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Fred in Australia

26 months ago

I am a vet with 10 years experience but I have no Australian practice licence .at the moment I am studying myself to seet in examination to get my AU licence.
How can I get a job in veterinary clinic with my overseas certificate?
Can I have a job as a vet assistant at vet hospital?
If any one have any idea, just help me please.
Thanks

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Harlow in Medina, Ohio

25 months ago

Here is the TRUE answer. For a veterinary ASSISTANT no college degree is actually required. To be a registered tech, an associates degree is required. To be an assistant, you absolutely MUST have impeccable communication skills as you deal with clients face to face on a daily basis... and yes, some of them are angry, rude or just plain difficult (I don't want to sugar coat it... being a veterinary assistant isn't all happy puppies and kittens all the time) and many of the times YOU are the one dealing with them. Dealing with "gross" things is a daily occurrence... yes, dogs will have diarrhea on the floor, cats will vomit, guess who cleans it up? Assistants. Intelligence.... A MUST HAVE!!! Cant have an assistant interfacing with clients that has questionable intelligence and makes the practice look bad. Persistence and attention to detail is a MUST! If a you start an appointment for a doctor and you notice labored breathing and pale gums on a dog, waiting around for your doctor to finish a conversation is a MAJOR no-no! That doctor needs to be in the room to evaluate the patient immediately. If you make it look like not a big deal, they wont assume it is... which can be the difference between life and death. Ok with death? Dealing with the passing of pets is never easy and is a very sensitive subject... but you just HAVE to learn to tolerate it, and sometimes learn to bite your tongue if you don't agree with it. Now that I have made it look like some sort of horrible, morbid job... I have to say I love (nearly) every aspect of it. You learn to deal with the smell of diarrhea and blood, and when your heart starts pounding in an emergency situation and your adrenaline starts pumping... nothing beats it... nothing. I have been working as a veterinary assistant since I was 15 which is abnormal, most of the time 18 is the requirement...

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ICV in Chicago, Illinois

25 months ago

jrupbeat in Beacon, New York said: Did you take the Animal Behavior College classes? I am looking into them now. Where the all they claimed to be! I have read some poor reports on them? Let me know...if they are as good as they claim to be.... Thanks

I know this posting is old but if you could elaborate a little on your experience with ABC you will truly be of help to me. Thank you!

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gabby in Los Lunas, New Mexico

23 months ago

ICV in Chicago, Illinois said: I know this posting is old but if you could elaborate a little on your experience with ABC you will truly be of help to me. Thank you!

I do not suggest going to ABC.

I wrote this to comment on a review earlier..

I have taken the "online courses". There is no interaction with your teacher during your Courses. You receive an automated email with your grade entered. For the essay questions you do, there is no answer to correct them with. There are many differences in the materials you study from which is a main book, a study guide and two aspca books. There is also huge contradictions between the course cataloge you receive with your materials and what your externship cordinator sends you. Your externship with a local vet clinic has no prerequisites for the person teaching you. You might work with 10 people during your externship but only one person grades you. They might not even Know any of the stuff you have done or taken part of but are grading you on your preformance. I beleive my experience with this college to be a complete waste of time and money. I really wish I had went to Penn Foster.

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efarahbakhsh1982@gmail.com in Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of

22 months ago

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to request information about Veterinary Technician.

which I am going to apply for. There is some questions raised here.

first of all, I am curious to know that if I pass this full-time course , would I be able to receive any credits in continuing my
studies in Veterinary (B.Sc.) in your country or other countries.

secondly, what is the difference between Veterinary Technician & Veterinary Nursing course.Which one is more probable to continue their study in Veterinary (B.Sc.) and get credite to continue their study from year 2 or 3 of Veterinary (B.Sc.).

Thanks for your coopration in advanced and I look forward to hearing
from you as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Ehsan Farahbakhsh,

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kat in Chickasha, Oklahoma

20 months ago

Kate in Brisbane, Australia said: I was thinking about being a vet assistant once out of school and would like to know the qualifications needed to become one. Also, is it required to go to university to become one or can a person just go through tafe to become a vet assistant. If anyone knows anything about what the job requires, could you please inform me. Thanks

I talked to my vets tech girl and the local tech school here has a 6 month course for $800 for vet ast school.It is a min wage job.To get a real job you must go to college and get trained as a vet tech.

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kat in Chickasha, Oklahoma

20 months ago

robinlynn in Irving, Texas said: I was layed off a year ago from a company paying me $22.00 an hour. I felt it was time to do what I really wanted to do..I started the online courses to be a vet assistant and what i did is send a personal letter and resume to every vet office around Dallas/ft worth. I got a call and they said it would be a way to get my foot in the door..I only make $8 an hour and I work my butt off..I love animals and that is the only thing that keeps me going. Right now i only work 2 days a week. Do I need to find something that pays a lot better to go along with this. You might not think it is worth it when you work so hard and the money is crappy and sometimes you have to do things like yard work when things are slow, but hey..I got in the door..My love for animals is just so great and I have always had this passion to work with them. Just wish it did pay better. I'm not going to sugar coat it..It is hard work and low pay. But like others have said..it is rewarding

sounds as bad as being a cna

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tanya in Christchurch, New Zealand

20 months ago

Im vet grad from philippine but did not have experience because i work in dairy farm in new zealand im moving to Md next year and planning to work in the clinic will i start as vet assistant or is ther any other offer? Thanks

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VetMedTeam in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

11 months ago

The postings regarding the VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program were brought to my attention. The purpose of this posting is to provide clarification to hopefully help readers make informed decisions regarding educational choices.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is the body that handles the accreditation of veterinary technology programs. The graduates of VT programs are eligible to sit the VTNE and gain licensing (CVT, RVT, or LVT depending on the state). The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) handles the process of approving veterinary assistant programs. Graduates of NAVTA approved programs are eligible to take the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) designation examination. The AVA is a nationwide veterinary designation and is not a title given by a school. More about the AVA may be viewed at www.navta.net/assistants/veterinary-assistants.

VetMedTeam (www.vetmedteam.com) has been contracted with by NAVTA to provide the testing platform for the AVA exam. The format, protocols, requirements, and examination questions are at the direction of NAVTA's AVA Committee and not VetMedTeam.

VetMedTeam is a website that provides online continuing education for the veterinary profession, including for veterinarians, credentialed veterinary technicians and other members of the veterinary practice team. Since 2000 we have offered a VA training program. Originally it was offered only to those who were already working in veterinary practices as it had a mandatory work requirement in order to meet the hands-on, practical, portion of the training. It is this program - the one specifically for the employed student - that articulates for college credit. This program has been NAVTA approved since its inception.

I will continue this posting....

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VetMedTeam in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

11 months ago

The Approved Veterinary Assistant designation went into effect April 2011. Since that time many veterinary practices have started requiring prior experience and/or training for new/entry level employees. We often receive inquiry emails from people who have been advised by their local practices that not only is prior training required but the practice also wants the AVA to have been earned.

VetMedTeam has built a version of our VA Program to meet the needs of those seeking employment with these application requirements. It contains an externship component to address the practical requirements. Our VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program: Externship Option is also NAVTA approved and graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the AVA. At this time this is the only NAVTA approved online program, the rest are traditional brick and mortar.

Every NAVTA approved program must contain specific training. One of those training items is in regards to the different positions and the related responsibilities of those positions, along with educational requirements and credentialing information. This document (copy and paste into your browser) www.vetmedteam.com/courses/247/team_roles.pdf addresses that and may be of interest to some readers of this board.

I will continue ths posting

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VetMedTeam in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

11 months ago

Veterinary medicine is evolving. There are a lot of people in the profession striving to improve the quality of care provided to patients by improving the training of practice team members. In addition, the goal is to create real, quality, careers. Much progress has been made, such as the technician specialty academies. There is a great deal more to veterinary medicine than playing with patients. But it can be a very rewarding profession, regardless of position.

Hopefully this information has been helpful. If there are any questions about the Approved Veterinary Assistant designation please contact NAVTA at ava@navta.net. We are also happy to answer questions.

Pat Lynch
Director of Operations
VetMedTeam
CE@VetMedTeam.com

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pennylanebt in Wellsville, New York

10 months ago

jackie in Portland, Oregon said: Seriously.. You don't need to go to school to be a vet assistant ? Am I just wasting my time and money?

I don't think so. I took classes to be a Vet Assistant, while I was working as a Kennel Assistant at an SPCA. Getting a certificate in veterinary assisting helped me get my last job in the Medical Unit at a neighboring SPCA. I'm actually going for an interview tomorrow for a Vet Tech Assistant position. ANY education you can acquire is helpful!

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annonymous in Punta Gorda, Florida

10 months ago

Betty in Glendora, California said: Working with animals varies State to State so first find out for sure what you need or dont need to be a vet assistant. There are many kinds of work in the animal industry, just like for people. As an assistant you usually don't need a degree or license, but a lot of places do ask that you have experience. Keep in mind that many assistance start off as volunteers. It is true that now-a-days you do need a degree in something to get a job, not just in animal care , but in everything. If working with animals is something you want to do, I can suggest you looking into getting a degree in Animal Science, or look into Animal Pharmacy. You might have to "cut-open" an animal in classes (such as anatomy/bio), but its for educational purposes (think of it like frog dissection in biology )not so much as surgical.
Another thing to keep in mind is that vet assistance do a lot of house keeping and feeding, most medication administration is usually done by the vet technician or vet technologist. I suggest you start looking into volunteering at local shelters, rescues, clinics and hospitals, that way you can start getting your experience in the animal care industry and learn from those around you, it'll defiantly help you decide which path you really want to take :)
word of caution tho, if you're squeamish about feces, urine, blood..a hospital /clinic/shelter may not be a place you want to work at.

In MA you need a degree or certificate to be a veterinary assistant or veterinary tech.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

10 months ago

You are not required to have a certificate or degree to work as a veterinary assistant in MA. You can review the state laws and will see that only veterinarians are required to have any special education or be licensed. The only mention of "veterinary technicians" or "veterinary assistants" has to do with the amount of supervision required to perform certain tasks and tasks that may not be performed.
www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/vt/regulations/rules-and-regs/
www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/vt/regulations/rules-and-regs/256-cmr-800.html

In fact, the state of Mass. doesn't require credentialing of veterinary technicians either. The MA Veterinary Technician Assoc. credentials veterinary technicians in that state (as Certified Veterinary Technicians) but they . media.wix.com/ugd/dc676b_bc06062d8f7e7ce6003c4354c7fd3a7a.pdf
www.massvta.org/#!volunteer/cihc

Veterinary assistants are not legally required to have any special education or training in any state in the US. There is at least one state that recognizes veterinary assistants that have voluntarily achieved special training, however they are not required to nor does it change anything that they can do in a practice setting.

A state by state breakdown of credentialing and duties allowed for veterinary technicians and assistants can be found here: www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Documents/scope_vet_assistant_duties.pdf This is current as of June 1, 2013 however changes may occur in the future so it's always best to check for updated lists.

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JosieFerrari in Los Angeles, California

9 months ago

heather in Reading, Pennsylvania said: i'm a veterinary assistant at an animal hospital and i didnt even start college yet. they are training me there. so no you do not need to go to school to become one.

How did you become one? Like did you go to the clinic or hospital and tell them that you would want to be a vet assistant and they hired you and then taught you or how did this happen

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

9 months ago

JosieFerrari in Los Angeles, California said: How did you become one? Like did you go to the clinic or hospital and tell them that you would want to be a vet assistant and they hired you and then taught you or how did this happen

That is exactly how it typically happens. You can simply apply at veterinary clinics for a position as a veterinary assistant.

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JC in Columbus, Ohio

8 months ago

Is a vet assistant position considered "bottom rung" "beginner entry-level" at a vet clinic?

Most of the positions I've seen in my area want "experienced" vet assistants and it seems that they want a year or years (one ad wanted at least 3 years!) of experience.

Given the lack of educational, licensure, etc. requirements of the position, doesn't it seem odd to ask for so much experience? While I understand that having competent staff is important in a clinical setting, offering these positions to students interestd in vet med (who likely don't have YEARS of experience already under their belts) has been a cornerstone of the pre-veterinary education and I feel like that is rapidly changing.

Why do some clinics seem to be unwilling to take on students and train them? Is this a widespread thing or just some weird quirk of my location (I live in an area with many big colleges with pre-vet and vet tech programs)?

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eagertofly in Belfast, United Kingdom

8 months ago

As a Veterinarian and some one in HR here is my comments. The problem is getting some of these untrained applicants a chance is that they start and then they quit. The idea of a being a vet assistant sounds great. But the reality of dealing with cleaning cages, stalls etc, cleaning blood, shyt, vomit and every thing else is mind boggling. Then it is dealing with the client patients themselves who some times bite and scratch and then the clientser who bring them in and dealing with them. This is both an animal and people business. I have hired people only to have them not work out because they could not handle staying after hours, Cleaning everything, handling animals and people including co workers.

The other thing is if surgery goes on say at a equine hospital then it is Vet Tech's who tend to do the hands on assisting and the assistants get the clean up/after care of cleaning the room. This is quite common it is the grunt work. So that is why many vet clinics are weary now.

The idea of the experience is that the applicant has some idea of what they are getting in to. The other way around this is to have a strong animal background. I worked as a Vet Assistant through part of my high school years and through under grad at Uni and I had a strong animal/horse/farm background being raised on a farm and already had an understanding of what it would it take to be a Vet Assistant.

If you can volunteer at a horse stable if you are interested in large animals, volunteer at an animal shelter preferably a kill shelter to get used to being around animals being put down all the time. Ask the vet once you are their if you can job shadow what it takes, Volunteer at a local vet clinic and see if you can handle what a Vet assistant does.

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