Veterinary Assistant

Program Overview

Do you want to turn your love and dedication for animals into a career? If you have a sincere devotion to promoting and aiding in the well-being of animals, this field might be for you! The Veterinary Assistant Program will prepare students for working in the Veterinary industry as a Veterinary Assistant through theory and hands-on learning to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for taking care of small and large animals. This program affords students with the opportunity of working with live animals daily. Seniors will have the opportunity to become Nationally Accredited as a Veterinary Assistant by NAVTA (The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) and earn a Certificate of achievement from PVMA (The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association). Upon graduation, students can be working in a veterinary facility as a Veterinary Assistant or students have the opportunity to continue their education in a Veterinary Technology Degree Program or Pre-Veterinary Degree Program.

Skill Alignment Chart (Click to Expand)
Educational & Physical Attributes Expectations
Program Safety & Physical Considerations
  • Emotional & mental stability
  • Empathy to understand the pains & suffering of others
  • Good personal hygiene–hair pulled back, no artificial nails, facial piercings removed, no dangling earrings nor visible tattoos
  • Lift heavy objects/animals
  • Not disturbed by incidences such bodily fluids, surgeries, injections & traumatic situations
  • Prolonged standing, bending & stooping
  • No allergies to animals
  • Clearances required
Essential APTITUDES for this lab–Recommended Levels
  • Veterinary specific math skills
  • Reading comprehension & writing skills
  • Strong science skills
  • Complex problem solving
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Service orientation
  • Multitasking
  • Flexibility in changing situations
  • Good attention to detail
  • Note taking and listening skills
  • Explain the main ideas or draw accurate conclusions after reading text
  • Follow a complex multi–step procedure independently
  • Evaluate how an author’s point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text
  • Evaluate how words and phrases shape meaning and tone in texts
  • Comprehend written text and apply it to understand tables, charts, and other visuals
  • Learn and apply content–specific symbols and acronyms correctly
  • Apply content–specific vocabulary correctly
  • Identify and explain how different ideas connect throughout text
  • Read and understand diagnostic and medical data to solve a problem
  • Compare & contrast information in a text
  • Summarize information from different written resources
  • Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis & conclusions in a technical text
  • By the end of grades 9–10 & 11–12 read & comprehend technical texts independently & proficiently
  • Textbook: Elsevier’s Veterinary Assisting Textbook, Average grade reading level: 16.2
  • Write with a sharp, distinct focus identifying topic, task, and audience
  • Develop and analyze a topic with relevant, well–chosen, and sufficient facts or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic
  • Produce clear & coherent writing
  • Develop and strengthen writing by brainstorming, revising, editing & rewriting
  • Write with awareness to audience using program–specific vocabulary
  • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question or solve a problem
  • Write routinely over short/long time frames for a range of tasks, purposes & audiences
  • Clearly convey with precision step–by–step work completed
  • Write fast–paced, accurate medical reports
  • Use technology to produce, publish or share writing
Math Levels

    Numbers and Operations:

  • Grade 6 – Fluency in operations with whole numbers and decimals
  • Grade 6 – Fraction computations
  • Grade 7 – Fraction to decimal conversion
  • Grade 7 – Percent and ratio problems
  • Grade 8 – Decimals to rational number (fraction) conversion
  • Algebra 1 – Problem solving with real world units, including conversions
  • Measurement:

  • NG – Units: English and Metric Precision: Nearest mm
  • Algebraic Concepts:

  • Grade 6 – One–step equation solutions – one variable with all non–negative components
  • Grade 7 – Two–step equation solutions – one variable
  • Data and Probability:

  • Algebra 1 – Interpret data on various displays – use to make predictions
Theory Time
  • About 1.5 hours/day
  • About 2 hours/week (varies each week)
  • May include:
    • Studying for exams
    • Projects
    • Viewing videos on practical skills
Lab Time
  • About 4 hours/day
  • Chapter exams
  • Practical skills assessments
POS Academics and Electives Recommended
  • English & Math are a component of the DCTS program
  • Veterinary specific Science courses (Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, Chemistry)
Study & Other Skills
  • Study guide completion
  • Time management
Technology Skills/Knowledge
  • Use and navigate school–issued laptop
  • Web navigation
  • Email management
  • Navigate learning management system and instructional technology tools
  • Video conferencing
Certifications Offered
  • PVMA
  • Basic Animal First Aid
  • Avimark Online Software Certificate
  • OSHA Healthcare 10 Hour Card
Post–Secondary Options and Continuing Ed

    Option to attend college to pursue:

  • Veterinary Technologist and Technician
  • Veterinary Hospital Manager
  • Veterinarian
  • Local/State Postsecondary Schools (i.e. Harcum College, Wilson College, Manor College, Johnson College, Lancaster County Career and Technology Center), York Technical Institute, Lehigh Carbon & Northampton Community College, Vet Tech Institute)