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Vet Tech: Veterinary Technician: Course List

Learning Outcomes and Job Expectations

Learning outcomes: Student will be able to:

  • collect patient history
  • perform the initial physical exam
  • place intravenous catheters and administer medication
  • anesthetize and monitor patients
  • assist in surgery for both large and small animals
  • perform dental cleanings on dogs and cats
  • handle, restrain and care for rats, mice, rabbits and birds.
  • apply bandages and splints on both large and small animals
  • evaluate lab samples under the microscope
  • accurately document records.

Technician duties include, but are not limited to:

  • appointment prep and veterinarian assistance
  • large amount of client education
  • blood draws
  • catheter placement
  • surgery prep and anesthetic monitoring
  • in house lab tests (eg. UAs, CBCs, chemistries, HW and tick testing, fecal examinations, etc.)
  • detailed patient care

All staff members are expected to:

  • answer phones properly
  • schedule appointments
  • aid with client questions
  • maintain a clean and organized environment

Additional responsibilities:

  • Assisting in the treatment room
  • Safe restraint of animals for medical treatment
  • Cleaning and maintenance of facility
  • Restocking of supplies
  • Care for animals in kennel area
  • Basic grooming of pets
  • All other kennel duties associated with care of pets in our facility


This job requires the ability to stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch and climb as well as manipulate (lift, carry, move) up to 40 pounds.

This job requires good hand-eye coordination, arm-hand-finger dexterity with the ability to reach and grasp, and the visual acuity to use a keyboard, operate equipment and read information.

Employees are routinely exposed to a variety of pets that may bite or scratch, and on occasion, could be exposed to anesthesia, radiation, biological hazards and medications.

  • Provide leadership for the veterinary assistant staff
  • Foster a positive and welcoming work environment
  • Provide exceptional patient care
  • Assist with patient care in treatment room and surgery
  • Advocate for thorough and comprehensive care
  • Build relationships of trust with our clients and community
  • Communicate effectively with doctors, team members, and clients
  • Performing medical admits and discharges
  • Venipuncture
  • IV catheter placement
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgery and procedural assistance
  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Complete dental care including dental radiology and prophylaxis
  • House laboratory tasks
  • Utilizing excellent communication skills explaining basic preventive health care
  • Restrain animals for procedures
  • Prepare and give medication
  • Collect samples
  • General caretaking
  • Administer anesthesia
  • Apply bandages
  • Place IV catheters
  • Office skills and record keeping
  • Client education and communication
  • Conduct lab tests
  • Assist in dental procedures
  • Take x-rays

Gross Motor Skills:

  • Move within confined spaces
  • Maintain balance in multiple positions
  • Reach above shoulders (e.g., IV poles)
  • Reach below waist (e.g., plug electrical cord into wall outlet)
  • Reach out front

Fine Motor Skills:

  • Pick up objects with hands
  • Grasp small objects with hands (e.g., IV tubing, pencil)
  • Write with pen or pencil
  • Key/type (e.g., use a computer)
  • Pinch/pick or otherwise work with fingers (e.g., manipulate a syringe)
  • Twist (e.g., turn objects/knobs using hands)
  • Squeeze with finger (e.g., eye dropper)
  • Dexterity to manipulate small equipment, adjust resistance on equipment, and manage syringes, catheters and surgical instruments

Physical Endurance:

  • Stand (e.g., at patient side during surgical, diagnostic or therapeutic procedures)
  • Sustain repetitive movements (e.g., CPR)
  • Maintain physical tolerance (e.g., work on your feet a minimum of eight hours)

Physical Strength:

  • Push and pull 50 pounds (e.g., position patients, move equipment)
  • Support 50 pounds of weight (e.g., walk patient with towel support)
  • Lift 50 pounds (e.g., bend to lift a dog up to a table)
  • Carry equipment/supplies
  • Use upper body strength (e.g., perform CPR, physically restrain a patient)
  • Squeeze with hands (e.g., operate fire extinguisher)
  • Be capable of handling, positioning, and restraining live animals of small and large species


  • Twist
  • Bend
  • Stoop/squat
  • Move quickly
  • Climb stairs
  • Walk
  • Must be able to move his/her entire body a distance of no less than three meters within two seconds of a signal to do so (to move from danger while handling in confined spaces)


  • Hear normal speaking-level sounds (e.g., person-to-person report)
  • Hear faint voices
  • Hear faint body sounds (e.g., blood pressure sounds, heart and lung sounds, assess placement of stomach and endotracheal tubes)
  • Hear in situations when not able to see lips (e.g., when masks are used)
  • Hear auditory alarms (e.g., monitors, fire alarms, warning sounds from animals and humans of impending danger or injury)


  • See objects up to 20 inches away (e.g., information on computer screen, skin conditions)
  • See objects up to 30 feet away (e.g., horse in an aisle)
  • Use depth perception
  • Use peripheral vision
  • Distinguish color and color intensity, including slight color variations (e.g., clinical pathology slides under a microscope


  • Feel vibrations (e.g., palpate pulses)
  • Detect temperature (e.g., skin, solutions)
  • Feel differences in surface characteristics (e.g., skin turgor, rashes)
  • Feel differences in sizes, shapes (e.g., palpate vein, identify body landmarks)
  • Detect environmental temperature
  • Physical assessment and performance of above tactile skills must be done in a timely manner


  • Detect odors (e.g., foul smelling discharge, anesthetic gas leak)


  • Tolerance to allergens such as latex and animal dander
  • Tolerance to strong soaps
  • Tolerance to strong odors (e.g., chemical disinfectants)
  • Tolerance to handling bodily fluids and solids (e.g., urine and feces)
  • Ability for sustained contact with multiple species (both large and small animals)
  • Not allergic to domestic animals to the extent that would prohibit working in a facility that has them


  • Read and understand written documents (e.g., monitoring sheet, directions)
  • Read digital displays


  • Comprehend graphic trends
  • Calibrate equipment
  • Convert numbers to and from metric system (e.g., dosages)
  • Tell time
  • Measure time (e.g., count heart beat in 15 sec and multiply by 4)
  • Count rates (e.g., drips/minute, pulse rate)
  • Read measurement marks
  • Add, subtract, multiply and/or divide whole numbers
  • Compute fractions and decimals (e.g., medication dosages)
  • Document numbers in records

Emotional Stability:

  • Must be able to complete required tasks/functions under stressful conditions, including emergencies
  • Must be willing to assist with and perform a wide variety of routine medical, surgical and diagnostic procedures, including humane euthanasia
  • Establish therapeutic boundaries
  • Provide client with emotional support
  • Adapt to changing environment/stress
  • Deal with the unexpected (e.g., client condition, crisis)
  • Focus attention on task
  • Cope with own emotions
  • Perform multiple responsibilities concurrently
  • Cope with strong emotions in others (e.g., grief)

Analytical Thinking:

  • Transfer knowledge from one situation to another
  • Process information from multiple sources
  • Analyze and interpret abstract and concrete data
  • Evaluate outcomes
  • Problem solve
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Use long-term memory
  • Use short-term memory

Critical Thinking:

  • Identify cause-effect relationships
  • Plan/control activities for others
  • Synthesize knowledge and skills
  • Sequence information
  • Make decisions independently
  • Adapt decision based on new information
  • Show progress towards minimal supervision as advance through program

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Establish rapport with individuals, families and groups
  • Respect/value cultural differences
  • Negotiate interpersonal conflict
  • Demonstrate socially appropriate behavior
  • Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close human and animal contact
  • Interact appropriately with clients and all members of the veterinary healthcare team

Communication Skills:

  • Teach (e.g. client/family about veterinary health care)
  • Direct/manage/delegate activities of others
  • Speak English
  • Write English
  • Read English
  • Comprehend and carry out complex written and oral directions given in English
  • Collaborate with others (e.g., veterinary team members)
  • Manage information

Time Constraints:

  • Must be able to function in a structured environment within significant time constraints
  • Administering anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian
  • Administering emergency first aid or other life-saving procedures
  • Bathing animals, clipping nails or claws, and brushing or cutting animals’ hair
  • Caring for and monitoring the condition of animals recovering from surgery
  • Dressing and suturing wounds and applying splints or other protective devices
  • Filling prescriptions, measuring medications and labeling containers


Diseases of any animal species

Zoonotic diseases transmitted from animal to man or vice versa

Restraint of animals

Historical reviews of veterinary science

Internal/external parasites of any species

Herd health programs

Laboratory procedures

Surgical procedures 

Providing first aid and nursing care
Assisting veterinarians during examinations and procedures
Phlebotomy and intravenous catheter placement
Performing or assisting with diagnostic tests such as radiographs, urinalysis, fecal exams and blood tests
Conducting routine procedures like dental cleanings and immunizations
Preparing animals for surgery, inducing anesthesia, assisting in surgery and post-anesthetic recovery
Monitoring the condition of patients and documenting medical charts
Dispensing prescription medications under the direction of a veterinarian
Educating pet owners on animal care and welfare, disease prevention, disease treatment and behavior concerns
Ensuring that lab animals receive humane treatment


Performing diagnostic tests and x-rays

Preparing animals and instruments for surgery

Administering medications, vaccines, and treatments

Providing emergency first aid or general nursing care

Observing and reporting on the behavior and condition of animals

Restraining animals for examination or treatment

Administering anesthesia and assisting during medical procedures

Collecting and recording animal case histories

Educating animal owners on home care

Assisting veterinarians and scientists in biomedical research

Training or experience in collecting live animal biopsies and/or significant field experience with deer or furbearers. pecial consideration will be given to personnel who have conducted tonsillar biopsies or have training in veterinary technical sciences (veterinary technicians and veterinarians both encouraged to apply).

Caretaking knowledge of captive small mammals, canines, felines, ungulates, and raptors.

Animal monitoring, feed prep and feeding, watering, enrichment development and implementation, maintenance and sanitation of enclosures and enclosure equipment, and handling of animals for veterinary purposes only.

Inspect and maintain wildlife exhibits and property facilities and grounds.

Assist with other property programs to meet operational needs

Demonstrates organizational, oral, and written communication skills, proficiency with Excel and Word.

An enthusiasm for outdoor work with wildlife and willing to work independently in remote locations

Able to work well with others in small teams

Be detail-oriented and ability to follow study protocols and carefully record data

A willingness to work long hours in the field in inclement weather (including extreme cold and oppressive heat) with lots of biting insects

A basic knowledge of deer anatomy is required.

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