Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
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Also known as:
Laboratory Animal Caretaker, Veterinarian Assistant, Veterinarian Helper, Veterinary Attendant
Veterinary assistants work with veterinary technicians to treat animals for disease, administer shots or pills, and assist during surgery and physical exams. They are similar to the aides who assist nurses and doctors in caring for people.
They sometimes comfort the animal, prepare food and ...
medicine, remove stiches and bandages and help with medical tests. The job may include doing the "dirty work" of cleaning kennels and sweeping out cages - but it also includes such gratifying tasks as grooming an animal and bringing it food and water.
A high school diploma (or equivalent) is essential. But if you have a genuine love of animals - all kinds of animals - this can be a great way to enter the animal caretaker field. And if you like the work, there are two-year colleges offering associate degrees qualifying you as a veterinary technician, a higher level position that typically commands a higher salary.
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.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Sell pet food or supplies to customers.
Exercise animals or provide them with companionship.
Provide emergency first aid to sick or injured animals.
Educate or advise clients on animal health care, nutrition, or behavior problems.
Record information relating to animal genealogy, feeding schedules, appearance, behavior, or breeding.
Perform hygiene-related duties, such as clipping animals' claws or cleaning and polishing teeth.
Dust, spray, or bathe animals to control insect pests.
Fill medication prescriptions.
Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
Administer medication, immunizations, or blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.
Administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.