What Do Vet Assistants Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Vet Assistants feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine post-operative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists. They also hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.

Other tasks include:

  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.
  • Administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals.
  • Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
  • Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
  • Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment.

We asked Vet Assistants how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

72%

How meaningful is this job

78%


72% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 78% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Vet Assistants hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures. They prepare examination or treatment rooms by stocking them with appropriate supplies.

A typical day for a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker will also include:

  • Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
  • Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment.
  • Administer medication, immunizations, or blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Record information relating to animal genealogy, feeding schedules, appearance, behavior, or breeding.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.

We asked some Vet Assistants a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?65% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?59% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?93% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?75% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?10% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?73% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Vet Assistants also provide assistance with euthanasia of animals or disposal of corpses. They may also dust, spray, or bathe animals to control insect pests.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Vet Assistants Groom, trim, or clip animals’ coats. They might also Administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals.

In addition, they Perform enemas, catheterizations, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, or gavages.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Perform hygiene-related duties, such as clipping animals’ claws or cleaning and polishing teeth.

To some Vet Assistants, it is also their responsibility to Prepare surgical equipment and pass instruments or materials to veterinarians during surgical procedures.


Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker, you can expect to work less than 40 hours per week.

Do Vet Assistants work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
100%


Never
0%


Do Vet Assistants work outdoors?

Never
33%


Every day
25%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Helpers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Vet Assistants

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Related to Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/veterinary-assistants-and-laboratory-animal-caretakers.htm
https://www.aalas.org/
http://www.navta.net/
http://www.aaha.org/


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