Skills Certificate, Veterinary Assistant

Program Description

The Skills Certificate for the Veterinary Assistant Program will allow completers of the program the opportunity to take a credentialing exam from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America to become an AVA (approved veterinary assistant).  Veterinary assistants are an integral part of the veterinary healthcare team working under the supervision of a veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician.  The program is comprised of two semesters of classroom and clinical instruction where students will gain knowledge and experience in a variety of areas appropriate to the veterinary assistant. 

This program is not eligible for financial aid. However, it may be eligible for scholarship funding if the student is awarded scholarships.

Recommended Course Schedule

Plan of Study Grid
1st semesterUnits
VETN 100 Introduction to Veterinary Assisting 4
VETN 105 Veterinary Medical Terminology 1
VETN 125 Veterinary Office and Clinical Procedures 1
 Semester Total6
2nd semester
VETN 120 Advanced Veterinary Assisting 4
VETN 130 Directed Veterinary Assisting Practical 2
 Semester Total6
 Total Units12

Skills Certificates provide training for entry level positions or career advancement and are designed to prepare students to take state, national and/or industry-recognized certifications or licensing exams. Skills certificates are awarded upon completion of coursework and marked on a student's transcripts at the end of the semester (Student are unable to declare intent to complete a skills certificate.) Skills Certificates are not eligible for Financial Aid. 

To earn a skills certificate, students must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  2. Have no financial or library obligation to the college
VETN 100Introduction to Veterinary Assisting4
VETN 105Veterinary Medical Terminology1
VETN 120Advanced Veterinary Assisting4
VETN 125Veterinary Office and Clinical Procedures1
VETN 130Directed Veterinary Assisting Practical2
Total Units12
  • Perform common tasks relating to the office/reception area of the veterinary hospital including client communication, appointment scheduling, and paperwork relating to admission and discharge of patients
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of the veterinary health team including professional conduct and recognize common legal concerns
  • Recognize and explain proper response to veterinary medical emergencies
  • Explain the process of euthanasia, post mortem care, and understand the animal bond and grief
  • Utilize basic medical terminology and abbreviations and demonstrate a basic understanding of small animal anatomy
  • Explain common diseases and medical conditions and learn basic veterinary procedures including vaccination
  • Identify common animal behaviors and animal breeds and demonstrate common restraint methods and tools relating to these animals
  • Understand small animal nutritional requirements and animal diets
  • Explain and demonstrate basic sanitation practices of a veterinary facility including isolation procedures, OSHA safety standards, and recognition of zoonotic concerns
  • Demonstrate basic husbandry techniques including grooming
  • Explain and perform common veterinary nursing duties appropriate for the veterinary assistant
  • Assist in performing surgical preparations and understand surgical nursing including identification of common instruments and proper care and sterilization procedures
  • Explain and assist with monitoring of recovering surgical patients and understand post-operative end of day routines
  • Explain and demonstrate restraint, preparation, and positioning of patients for diagnostic imaging and handling of the radiographic record
  • Explain and demonstrate collection and preparation of various biological samples for laboratory analysis