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CindyRVT Said,
January 4th, 2011 @5:36 pm  

No state in the US has any educational requirements for working as a veterinary ASSISTANT. This is an entry level-position in a veterinary facility and training is generally done on the job. Because most training is done on the job it is often very cursory and lacks the depth and breadth of a formal education. Veterinary assistants are generally taught the basic how-to but not the why or when you would do something different. They tend to do basic tasks such as animal restraint, basic care and sanitation, assist in patient monitoring, prepare instruments for use in surgeries or daily treatments, they may give medication as prescribed by the veterinarian, collect biological samples and perform basic diagnostic tests like reading fecals.

There are voluntary educational opportunities, however these are not equivalent to a college degree program and are instead basic vocational training. There is no over-sight by a professional body to ensure that the majority of these programs provide adequate or correct information. There is no requirement for hands-on training and instructors often have little or no experience or education in the veterinary field. There are a handful of certification programs that are designed and approved by veterinary professional organizations or that are offered by colleges which also offer accredited veterinary technology programs and these are better choices for someone who wants to be a veterinary assistant. All of these programs offer certification as a veterinary assistant, but this certification is not legally recognized or required by any state in the US.

If you just want to work as a veterinary assistant, stick with Penn Foster or one of the other veterianry assisting programs that is taught by a school that also offers and AVMA accredited veterinary technology program or that has a reciprocity agreement with an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program. This way you are likely to get more in the way of beneficial and correct information than from the hundreds of fly-by-night programs trying to offer veterinary assisting programs online.

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jannsody Said,
January 4th, 2011 @5:51 pm  

Please steer clear of those online, for-profit schools (may have ‘brick and mortar’ buildings and may be ‘accredited’) such as penn foster, ashworth, devry, university of phoenix, kaplan, stratford career, ITT tech, sanford brown, argosy, remington and others as they are merely out to ‘make a profit’ (and course credits may Not transfer to other schools). Please also be aware that penn foster does Not have a clean slate in the least and there are numerous posts about the school (and others) at this consumer site: http://www.complaintsboard.com and can search.

If you’d like to get training as a vet assistant, please instead consider the more affordable and perhaps reputable county vo-tech school(s) or non-credit course at the community college(s).

For general career info: http://www.bls.gov/oco and can search ‘animal care and service workers’ or such.

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