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Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assistant Certificate

PPSC currently offers a Veterinary Assistant certificate for those interested in starting their careers in the veterinary field. This Certificate program can be completed in as little as three semesters.

Veterinary assistants are an integral asset to any veterinary practice. Veterinary assistants are responsible for comforting and restraining animals during examinations and care, maintaining surgical rooms, exam rooms, equipment, kennels and cages, as well as, assisting the veterinarians and veterinary technicians with a variety of diagnostic tasks.

vet at work

Veterinary Assistant at Pikes Peak

Upon completion of the Veterinary Assistant Certificate, students will be able to:

  • Comprehend the role of the Veterinary Assistant.
  • Demonstrate proper handling and restraint techniques of various animal species.
  • Demonstrate exam room procedures and patient data collection.
  • Apply communication skills and customer service skills.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge of pharmacy procedures to include, but not limited to, filling medications, inventory control and vaccine administration.
  • Adhere to safe and professional laboratory skills and techniques.

Students who receive their Veterinary Assistant Certificate will be qualified to:

  • Take vitals and do initial assessment with animal caregivers
  • Maintain patient records
  • Assist Veterinary technicians with diagnostic tests
  • Maintain medical supplies
  • Set-up supplies and equipment for medical procedures
  • Care for animals after surgery

The Veterinary Assistant Certificate program is designed to allow students to become proficient in a variety of applied veterinary assistant tasks and duties. Upon graduation, students will be qualified to apply to entry-level veterinary assistant positions within the animal health field.

*Your personalized schedule will be best determined by meeting with an Academic Advisor

  • VET 1002 - Veterinary Medical Terminology (1 Credit) 
  • VET 1003 - Veterinary Assistant Restraint & Handling (2 Credits)
  • VET 1009 - Applied Companion Animal Behavior (3 Credits)
  • VET 1020 - Office Procedures & Relations (2 Credits)

Total Credit Hours for First Semester: 8 Credit Hours

  • VET 1004 - Assistant Large Animal Nursing (1 Credit) Prerequisite: VET 1003
  • VET 1014 - Vet Assistant Lab & Clinical Procedures (3 Credits) Prerequisite: VET 1003 & VET 1020
  • VET 1017 - Veterinary Assistant Surgery & Nursing Care (2 Credits) Prerequisite: VET 1003 & VET 1014 (or concurrent enrollment)

Total Credit Hours for Second Semester: 6 Credit Hours

  • VET 1083 - Internship (3 Credit Hours) Prerequisite: VET 1003, VET 1014, VET 1017, & VET 1020

Total Credit Hours for Second Semester: 3 Credit Hours

Total Credit Hours for Veterinary Assistant Certificate: 17 Credit Hours

Veterinary Assistant Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Perform common veterinary office procedures.
  2. Perform basic nursing care for animal patients.
  3. Complete common laboratory and diagnostic imaging procedures.
  4. Apply behavior modification techniques.
  5. Handle and examine animal patients.
  6. Demonstrate safe placement and removal of small animals into and from cages.
  7. Demonstrate proper table top restraint on small animals.
  8. Demonstrate safe application of a muzzle on a dog and cat.
  9. Demonstrate correct placement of an Elizabethan collar on a dog and cat.
  10. Collect and record in a medical record a body temperature, pulse (heart rate), respiratory rate and body weight from a small animal.
  11. Demonstrate correct nail trimming technique for a cat, dog, or bird.
  12. Demonstrate the external method of anal sac expression.
  13. Demonstrate external cleaning of ear canals on a dog or cat.
  14. Administer a pill by hand to a dog or cat.
  15. Identify and recall common dog and cat breeds, common small animal gender terms and anatomical terms.
  16. Prepare vaccines and list proper vaccine protocols for small animals.
  17. Describe the common routes and methods of drug and vaccine administration that the veterinarian and/or veterinary technician may choose.
  18. Characterize and classify normal and abnormal small animal behaviors.
  19. Describe and name common small animal diseases and medical conditions.
  20. Demonstrate a basic grooming, dipping and a therapeutic bath of a small animal.
  21. Prepare and describe normal and prescription small animal diets.
  22. Demonstrate proper cleaning and disinfection of cages and kennels.
vet at work
Student's Studying

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