Veterinary Assistant Program

For those who love animals, there are few jobs more rewarding than that of a Veterinary Assistant and the Vet Assistant Training program at California Healing Arts College will help you get there fast.

The compassionate presence of these professionals eases the experience of a visit to the vet for pets and pet owners alike. Veterinary Assistants assist veterinarians with every aspect of animal care and also help manage pet owner’s questions and concerns. In addition to the animal care they provide, Veterinary Assistants also assist pet owners. They are often the first point of contact for clients and as such set the tone for their experience. Veterinary Assistants educate pet owners about illnesses, medications and general care, and answer their questions and concerns. Pets are important members of the family in more than 60% of households in the United States today. As integral members of the veterinary care team, Veterinary Assistants have the reward and satisfaction of assisting these beloved companion animals and their owners.

Most Veterinary Assistants love animals and have a passion for animal welfare. Veterinary Assistants need good physical endurance during physically challenging workdays and adequate strength to restrain animals when needed. Patience and the ability to maintain calm are essential as the animals coming to the facility might be scared, stressed or in pain, which can result in erratic or aggressive behavior.

Veterinary assistants must possess emotional strength, stability, and maturity for those instances in which they must treat abused animals or euthanize those who cannot be returned to a reasonable quality of life. Good people skills also come in handy, as veterinary assistants are often the first point of contact for distressed animal owners.

The CHAC veterinary assistant health care program is conveniently located to most Los Angeles County residents in Carson, California. So call us toll-free today at (310) 826-7622 to get started.

What is a Veterinary Assistant?

The work of a Veterinary Assistant plays an important role in the successful operation of a veterinarian’s office or animal hospital.  A person who is investigating various types of veterinary work may think that the occupations of Veterinary Assistant and veterinary technician are one in the same.  Actually, they are two different careers within the same field. A Veterinary Assistant helps a veterinarian during patient examinations and has various other responsibilities in a vet’s office.  Alternatively, a veterinary technician gives medical tests to animals and is qualified to administer various types of medical care.

It is helpful to be in good physical shape in order to effectively lift, move or restrain animal patients as needed. The ability to focus and stay on task in a loud environment is also helpful, as other animals in the facility can become quite noisy. Veterinary Assistants are responsible for keeping the animals under their care clean and safe. They bathe, clean and disinfect animal cages, sterilize surgical equipment and perform daily caretaking tasks such as feeding and weighing animals. They administer medications, collect blood, urine and tissue samples for testing, perform lab tests and monitor animals during surgery. Vet assistants also perform the important task of maintaining the charts that document daily animal care.

There are several qualities that enable a person to have success as a Veterinary Assistant.  First, a person who is calm around animals is a positive addition to any vet’s office.  When a pet comes in to see the veterinarian, it is usually frightened or agitated.  An effective Veterinary Assistant knows how to talk to a pet and make it feel as comfortable as possible during its time in the office. Next, a successful Veterinary Assistant is patient.  For instance, a dog or cat that is staying the night at the vet may not want to go into a strange cage.  An assistant must know how to calm the pet and take the time to make it feel at ease before it goes into the cage. A person who believes in doing a job in a thorough way is a good candidate for this occupation.  For example, when cleaning an examination table, an efficient vet assistant makes sure that the table is free of bacteria so that no germs are passed along to the next animal.  Cleanliness is a significant concern in a reputable veterinarian’s office.  Of course, a basic love of animals is also a great quality in a Veterinary Assistant.

Some of the specific tasks of a Veterinary Assistant include checking the vital signs of patients, weighing them, and asking an owner questions about the animal.  Also, a Veterinary Assistant often calms a dog or cat during the veterinarian’s examination.  Veterinary Assistants may exercise the dogs and cats that are staying overnight at the clinic.  Cleaning cages, wiping down exam tables, and feeding animals are other tasks of Veterinary Assistants. Veterinary assistants work in several types of environments.  Some Veterinary Assistants work in animal hospitals or clinics.  Others work in the private practices of veterinarians.  In addition, some Veterinary Assistants work in mobile units that travel around giving medical care to dogs and cats where they live.  A Veterinary Assistant can work in a large practice with several veterinarians or in a small practice with just one vet.  Furthermore, the work hours of a Veterinary Assistant are dependent upon where he or she works.  Some animal hospitals are open 24 hours a day which means that a Veterinary Assistant may work overnight or during the day.  Alternatively, a person working in a veterinarian’s private office often works regular office hours.

Veterinarian Assistants perform basic animal care duties and administrative work in veterinary offices and animal hospitals. These individuals might feed pets, disinfect cages, sterilize equipment and administer medications. Additionally, they could perform office tasks, such as scheduling appointments, checking in patients, documenting medical histories and ensuring the proper medical equipment is stocked, functioning and clean.

A Day in a Veterinary Assistant’s Life: On a typical day a Veterinary Assistant may:

  • Feed, bathe, exercise and examine animals.
  • Clean and disinfect cages, kennels, and work areas like examination and operation rooms.
  • Maintain and sterilize laboratory and surgical instruments and equipment.
  • Provide post-operative care and monitor and care for animals after surgery.
  • Administer medication orally or topically that Veterinarians prescribe.
  • Help provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals.
  • Assist in the collection of blood, urine, and tissue samples.
  • Restrain animals during examination and laboratory procedures.
  • Prepare samples for laboratory examination under a veterinarian’s or vet technician’s supervision.

Although not required by employers, Veterinary Assistants can become certified as an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Veterinary Assistants job outlook is very strong, with much faster growth than average.  For the most current job outlook information for this field please reference Bureau of Labor Statistics information at​. Overall job opportunities for Veterinary Assistants are expected to be good. People looking at Veterinary Assistant jobs may aspire to work their way up in the field of veterinary medicine.  A person may work as a Veterinary Assistant while studying to be a veterinary technician or even a veterinarian people who attend Veterinary Assistant schools will likely garner a higher than average salary because they have prepared for the responsibilities of the job.

Veterinary Assistants can be found working for the following environments:

  • Veterinary hospitals/clinics, emergency and specialty hospitals.
  • Animal shelters, zoo and wildlife centers, and animal control departments.
  • Diagnostic laboratories, pharmaceutical and supply distribution facilities.
  • Animal research agencies.
  • Be at least 18 years old. If younger than 18, applicant must provide valid high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Provide a valid high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Interview with an admissions representative and tour the campus.
  • Complete all requisite forms in the admissions pack

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Program Length Class Schedule

30 Weeks • 900 Clock Hours • 32 Credit Hours
Monday-Friday • 8:00 am – 2:30 pm
(30 hours per week with breaks. Lunch is an additional ½ hr.)

38 Weeks • 900 Clock Hours • 24 Credit Hours or
Monday-Friday • 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
(22.5 hours per week with breaks)

Externships are normally conducted in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other affiliated
treatment centers generally during daytime working hours from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
and scheduled for 30 hours per week (6 hours per day) for 6 weeks.

Not all programs are offered at all campuses and not all campuses offer programs during all sessions.

Please check with the Admissions Department for the start dates and schedules of a particular program.

Tuition and Fees

The total tuition includes all books and supplies, STRF fee, as well as administrative fees for registration and graduation. California Healing Arts College participates in several types of funding programs, and we offer several options for tuition payment. A staff of well-qualified financial aid officers is available to advise and assist you in applying for aid. All prospective students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance if unable to meet educational costs on their own.

Placement Assistance

Our Career Services staff is eager to provide placement assistance to all graduates, including résumé preparation, job-seeking skills, and interviewing techniques. To enhance your career planning, a review of these items will be supplemented with job leads after successful completion of the program. While we cannot guarantee employment, Career Services will assist in securing a job that’s right for you.

Admission Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old. If younger than 18, the applicant must provide a valid high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Provide a valid high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Interview with an admissions representative and tour the campus.
  • Complete all requisite forms in the admissions packet.

Call us toll free at (310) 826-7622 to learn first-hand how California Healing Arts College can help you change your life today!

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