- Veterinary Assistant
Who is a Veterinary Assistant?
An animal lover can be a vet, but a vet must be an animal lover ~ Anonymous
Have you ever faced a situation where you’re walking by the road and for instance you see a dog suffering from injury and that aches your heart? As a responsible citizen you would want to assist the dog but do you know you could also be professionally equipped to help several such animals? Yes, you can do so by becoming a veterinary assistant. You can professionally assist, test, diagnose as well as treat the animals who need help. Veterinary assistants are responsible for taking care of the animals under the supervision of a veterinarian or veterinarian technologist. They are responsible for feeding, bathing and exercising animals, and restrain them during testing and treatment. Vet assistants, as they are commonly called, sometimes also do lab work, such as drawing blood and collecting urine samples for the veterinarian to conduct several tests for the diagnosis and treatment of the animal.
Veterinary Assistant in a Nutshell
The career of a veterinary assistant can be very exciting for the people who have love towards animals and the ones who want to contribute to the animal’s well being. However, it is a serious job as one is dealing with a patient who cannot express the pain in the human language. There are several career opportunities available in the veterinary field. Nowadays, people have increasingly started to adopt animals as there’s been a big explosion in the pet care market as products like pet foods, hand-sewn clothes and several such things have grown in the market. Not only that, but there are several animal care NGOs that have opened in the past and continue to grow where volunteers rescue animals and get the injured ones treated.
Quick Facts for Veterinary Assistant
Average Salary in India
Male, Female, Others
In order to become a veterinary assistant, an individual from any section or gender can do so. It doesn’t matter which gender he or she belongs to when it comes to taking up veterinary assisting as a career option. Being a veterinary assistant in India is a profession where an individual’s gender is insignificant. Both men and women have taken up this profession and according to the statistics women are more in number in this profession.
Any special needs
When it comes to doing veterinary assistant jobs it is better to be physically fit for a better and efficient way of working. Differently-abled people cannot be a part of veterinary assistant jobs as it is a field which requires the person to take care of an animal and it can involve a lot of mobility as well as carrying heavy objects at times. and Therefore, one needs to be physically fit.
Table of Contents for Veterinary Assistant
What is the role of Veterinary Assistant?
Veterinary assistants are in the first line of veterinary care, taking on responsibilities such as managing the daily needs of animals like feeding, bathing, and exercising the animals. Preventing animals during inspection and procedures, assisting with unsafe medical procedures. They also carry out functions like disinfecting systems and kennels, arranging medical appointments with pet owners, washing machines and surgical rooms, monitoring the health status of animal patients for example their weight or temperature and educating pet owners. They may assist veterinarians and veterinarians with more advanced skills such as medication administration, processing laboratory samples, and performing medical examinations like x-rays. Veterinarians are often employed by veterinary clinics and veterinary hospitals, sometimes working nights, weekends and holidays to meet the needs of their veterinary patients.
One of the major duties of a veterinary assistant is to monitor the health graph of the animal. He or she has to take care of the animal’s health by noticing things like how the animal is responding to the treatment provided or the medicines given. Not only that a veterinary assistant is also responsible for taking care of the animals' health and monitoring their activities after surgery.
A veterinary assistant is responsible for assisting the veterinarian and the veterinary assistant during the process of treatment. One has to work in a similar way a nurse works in a hospital. A veterinary helps in carrying out surgeries and conducting tests. He or she also bathes the pet before and after the surgery as well as whenever it is necessary.
One of the major work attributes for a veterinary assistant is to be a person who can help and comfort the animal in pain. He or she must attend an animal with first aid before a veterinarian arrives. A veterinary assistant also has to calm and soothe anxious patients in order to ease their pain.
A place that promotes healthcare whether for humans or animals must be clean. It is the job of a veterinary assistant to maintain the cleanliness of all the machinery that are used for conducting tests for diagnosis. Not only that he or she is also responsible for maintaining a clean living environment for the animal. A veterinary assistant has to clean and disinfect the cages, kennels as well as maintain the operating room.
A veterinary assistant has to conduct several diagnostic tests on the patient. It is the primary and one of the most important jobs as a correct diagnosis of the problem will only help in providing the right solution for the animal. It is a challenging task as animals can’t explain their troubles to the veterinary assistant. He or she collects blood, or tissue samples in order to conduct several tests.
Types of a Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary receptionist: Several veterinary hospitals hire professionals in the field of veterinary as their receptionist. The veterinary receptionist acts like an extra player in a sports team. His or her primary job is to take care of the receptionist work but in cases of emergency or in situations where there is no veterinary assistant one could take over and provide assistance to the animal by providing first aid.
Veterinary sales manager: There are several sales companies that sell animal products. These companies prefer hiring professionals from the field as they are the ones who have a better understanding and knowledge of animals and their requirements. An individual who is looking for a job that is inclined towards the business side can apply for such companies.
Veterinary assistant: One can begin in the healthcare field as an assistant and can provide assistance to the veterinarian as well as the veterinarian surgeon in carrying out several tasks. An individual is required to clean, maintain and monitor the health of the patient. One is required to inform the health conditions of the patient to both the pet owner as well as the veterinarian.
Veterinary supervisor: A supervisor is the one whose responsibility is to keep a check on several veterinary assistants that are working. He or she is responsible for maintaining a record of work details as well as which assistant is responsible for which patient. Not only that, but he or she also keeps a check on the assistant’s capabilities and assigns the work accordingly.
What is the workplace/work environment of Veterinary Assistant like?
Whether an individual works in a veterinary office, at a school, or in a research centre, he or she will be spending much of the time in kennels, outdoor enclosures, labs, along with the operating rooms. Some of the patients might be aggressive or some might be frightened. There can be a risk of being bitten or scratched. Wearing protective clothing can help prevent this but these veterinary clinics run on a very tight budget. The work can sometimes also become unpleasant. One may have to assist veterinarians when they euthanize animals and dispose of remains, and console the grieving owners. Some patients can also be victims of abuse or will be very ill.
Does Veterinary Assistant require travelling?
The job of a veterinary assistant does not require much travelling unless he or she is a part of the para-veterinary field. A person who is a part of the para-veterinary field keeps travelling from place to place in order to help the animals in need by assisting a physician.
In most of the cases, the job of a veterinary assistant is a full-time job, where the individual works under a seasoned veterinary doctor.
The nature of the employment of a veterinary assistant is full time in nature. Unless one is from the para-veterinary field as he or she is a part of the veterinary care system. One works for this system on a full-time basis but he or she is sent to assist a physician for a specific amount of time. Therefore, from that point of view, the work becomes contractual in nature.
Veterinary assistants often work in animal clinics or hospitals. Some of them also work in NGOs that take care of animals.
Presence in Geographical Area
Rural, Semi-urban, Urban
A veterinary assistant generally works in an urban or semi-urban location. Since animal healthcare units have hardly opened in rural areas. But, a para-veterinary can be sent to work in any kind of location. Since there are hardly any animal healthcare clinics in rural area veterinary assistants mainly work in urban or semi-urban locations. In case of requirement, a para-veterinary might be called in a rural area for providing assistance.
Time pressure is considered moderate in the profession. There are no fixed working hours for a veterinary assistant. Ideally, he or she should work for 9-10 hours but the working hours often get stretched depending on the requirement.
Working overtime is quite common in veterinary assistants. A veterinary assistant works from 9-10 hours a day. The work hours can also stretch depending on the requirement. For instance, if a patient needs special care one may have to work extra hours.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 50 Hours
A veterinary assistant works from 9-10 hours a day. The work hours can also stretch depending on the requirement. For instance, if an animal needs special care then one may have to work extra hours.
How to become a Veterinary Assistant?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Veterinary Assistant?
Communication Skills: A veterinary assistant must have a good command over his or her language. It is important for his or her job position to be able to explain their message to the recipient clearly and precisely. Being able to communicate well eliminates the probability of errors being caused due to any sort of miscommunication between the veterinary assistant and the veterinarian. It is essential to be a good listener in order to communicate well.
Decision-making skills: It is essential that a flight engineer is decisive in nature. There are several instances where a flight engineer is supposed to make decisions about the aircraft. He or she needs to be calculative as well as decisive about the decisions made as well as calculate the risks in taking those decisions. It is a field where no risks can be taken therefore everything needs to be done with precision.
Attention to Detail: A veterinary assistant is expected to have extremely high attention to detail. It is important in his or her job position that he or she does not miss out on anything while treating an animal. One needs to keep a close monitoring eye on the animal and the recovery process.
Service orientation: For any individual who wishes to be a part of the healthcare industry it is important that he or she is service-oriented. One must have the inner urge to help a person in need therefore it is one of the primary skills required to be a veterinary assistant.
Critical thinking: After the diagnosis of a patient the next step is to choose the treatment process. One must be able to decide how he or she is going to go about it. A veterinary assistant must rationally compare the options available, critically think about them and then choose to go with the one which promises a better outcome.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Veterinary Assistant?
Internships are considered as the best possible way for gaining experience in an individual's career choice. They provide the candidate with real-world experience. Especially when it comes to the field of healthcare an internship is mandatory in nature as people’s life is at stake. An individual who is aspiring to be a veterinary assistant is supposed to go through a training period which is a minimum of six months long and in a research-based institution, it can last as long as a year. There are several ways through which a candidate can get an internship. It could be either through his or her college, through an online portal or sometimes by even contacting the firm of his or her choice.
Career Path Progression for Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary assistants trainee: After completing the required education an aspiring candidate for the position of veterinary assistant has to undergo a training period. The duration may vary from place to place where the candidate is hired. The training process is all about learning how to carry out several job responsibilities that are expected out of him or her. There are places where a trainer is responsible to care of the training process of the newly hired veterinary assistant but a veterinary supervisor can also take care of this job.
Veterinary assistant: Once an individual has completed his or her training, he or she is ready for carrying out the several job responsibilities of a veterinary assistant. An individual needs to do it all beginning from taking care of the cleanliness to collecting of test samples. A veterinary assistant can also help pet owners in giving advice for the proper healthcare of their pets.
Veterinary Supervisor: A veterinary assistant after completing two to five years of service can step up the designation of a veterinary supervisor. The job of a veterinary supervisor is to keep a check on all the veterinary assistants working in a clinic. He or she is also responsible for the distribution of duties to the assistants. Not only that, sometimes a veterinary supervisor also takes care of the training process of a veterinary assistant.
Veterinary Trainers: Some animal healthcare clinics have a veterinary trainer whose job responsibility is to train both the newly appointed veterinarian as well as the veterinary assistants. He or she assigns several tasks to the trainee at the beginning of the day and takes the report of the work done once the working hours end.
Veterinary Assistant Jobs and Salaries
Veterinary Assistants Trainee
- Average Salary 12500
- Junior Level Salary 12000
- Senior Level Salary 18000
A veterinary assistant trainee is the one who has joined a clinic or health care facility right after completing his or her education. Depending on the place of work the training period can last between six months to one year.
The salary of a veterinary assistant trainee is the entry-level salary in the field. As the training period ends, the individual’s salary is increased. Once an individual completes his or her training the salary is expected to grow by 20-25 per cent.
- Average Salary 24000
- Junior Level Salary 23000
- Senior Level Salary 25000
A veterinary supervisor is the one who assigns several tasks to a veterinary assistant and in some cases to the trainees as well. He or she is responsible to distribute the work in the beginning of the day and checks the work status by the end of the day. A veterinary supervisor is a person who has worked as a veterinary assistant before therefore, he or she has an idea of the kind of work that can be expected and how much time is taken to do a certain task.
One reaches the post of a supervisor after a minimum of two to five years of work. The salary increases as and when the experience and knowledge of the individual increases. In the beginning, a supervisor earns Rs. 24,000 per month on an average. But, after gaining experience and working for several years the salary can increase up to Rs. 39,000 per month.
- Average Salary 28000
- Junior Level Salary 26000
- Senior Level Salary 30000
A veterinary trainer takes care of the training process of a veterinary assistant and sometimes also of a veterinarian (if he or she is qualified enough). As a trainer, it is his or her job to make the trainee know about different job responsibilities and how to canary them out. For example, a veterinary assistant is supposed to conduct several tests so taking fluid samples and using the machines to know the result has to be learned. New technology replaces the old one therefore, a trainer helps his or her, trainee, to be updated with their use.
The salary of a trainer increases as and when the number of trainees or the individual’s experience increases. The salary of a veterinary trainer is Rs. 28,000 per month on an average. After gaining experience the salary is expected to grow as high as Rs.40,000 per month. A trainer also has the option of opening his or her own training school.
What is the job outlook for Veterinary Assistant?
A veterinary assistant can have significant job growth in the veterinary field, especially in the para-veterinary field. In India, the veterinary field is still growing, the job growth is more significant for the veterinarian in a private setting than for a veterinary assistant. Therefore, the para-veterinary field is a great opportunity for a candidate who wishes to be a veterinary assistant in terms of job growth. However, research-based organisations have better job growth opportunities for a veterinary assistant. Veterinary is a low-stress job in comparison to the other healthcare fields. Not only that, now a huge number of people are increasingly investing in their pet animals therefore, but there are also several job growth opportunities available for a veterinary assistant.
The field of veterinary assistance has a very positive job market scenario. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment to grow much faster than the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026, at about 19 per cent. This is mainly because people around the globe have increased expenditure on all kinds of pets. According to a study 51 per cent of millennials would rather have a pet than having a kid. Mostly dogs and cats are being adopted at an increasing rate. Therefore, several health care centres solely for animal healthcare are opening in India. Several new job opportunities are available for professionals in veterinary health care. Veterinary healthcare has advanced at a great speed and several veterinary services are comparable to human healthcare. The field is expected to advance and grow even more in the coming years.
Frequently Asked Questions for Veterinary Assistant
Que. What is the difference between a veterinary nurse and a veterinary technician?Ans.
A veterinary assistant generally works with small animals, such as cats, dogs, birds and mice, but may also work on larger animals, such as sheep, pigs and monkeys. A veterinary assistant works under the supervision of a fully licensed veterinarian. Veterinary technologists are qualified to work in a research facility.
Que. Is a veterinary assistant a good career?Ans.
A veterinary assistant is one of the most popular dream jobs for animal lovers, and many kids start mentioning their interest in this career path at a very young age. If one has the urge to be a part of this field then it is a good career choice.
Que. Can a veterinary assistant become a veterinarian?Ans.
A degree in veterinary nursing will not qualify a person to be a veterinarian. But if one wants he or she could start over by pursuing a degree for the qualification of a veterinarian.
Que. Do veterinary assistants euthanize animals?Ans.
Euthanasia is not, in law, an act of veterinary surgery, and in most circumstances may be carried out by anyone if the veterinary assistant or the surgeon doen’t want to do it, provided that it is carried out humanely.
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