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Earn your diploma in Veterinary Assisting

The diploma program in Veterinary Assisting is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment as an assistant to a Veterinarian or Veterinary Technician. The program will provide students with a foundation of knowledge in ethics and law, animal anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and animal care activities. Through hands-on learning, students will learn to keep medical and imaging records, offer client education, assist with nursing duties, prepare for surgeries, and assist in a routine exam.  This program includes a clinical externship experience.

Perform a diverse variety of tasks in customer/client service and education; front desk and clerical responsibilities; preparation of exam rooms; and assisting in areas of filling scripts, setting up lab work, and assisting with nursing and animal care.  Veterinary assistants work under the supervision of veterinarians and veterinary technicians, through the establishment of standard levels of knowledge, practical experience, and skills.

If you’re considering earning your diploma in Veterinary Assisting, it’s time to get started at Southern Technical College. Contact us to learn more.

Note: The following campuses: Auburndale, Brandon, Orlando & Sanford are currently pending approval of Title IV funding by the US Department of Education

Course Descriptions

Courses with an “O” designation have been approved for online delivery.

SLS110 – “O”  Career Preparation – 6 credit hours

This course provides students with the foundation for job preparation and job searching. Students will identify their qualifications for their chosen career; identify what employers look for in strong candidates; build resumes and cover letters; gain tips on completing applications; job and informational interviewing; as well as job searching, professional networking, and tips for setting up a successful career. This course will also introduce students to the application of basic interpersonal communication skills, with a focus on achieving success in the workplace. Prerequisite(s): None

VAT100 Introduction to Veterinary Assisting – 6 credit hours

This class will introduce students to the role of the Veterinary Assistant as a member of an animal care team. Emphasis will be on OSHA, safety protocols, cleaning and disinfection. This class is designed to familiarize students with general veterinary office procedures. Students will learn to greet clients, answer the telephone, schedule appointments, admit patients, perform basic filing, and maintain and retrieve medical records. Students will also understand basic invoicing, billing, and payment and account procedures. Topics in human-animal bond, professional and appropriate appearance and language in the workplace are discussed. Students will also learn the correct use of electronic communication in the veterinary care center.  Pre-requisites: None

VAT110 Medical Terminology – 6 credit hours

Students will learn the structure of medical terms and abbreviations. Large and small breed recognition, identifying normal and abnormal animal behavior, and proper restraint of large and small animals are also discussed.  Pre-requisites: None

VAT120  Anatomy and Physiology – 6 credit hours

In this course, student will learn animal body systems and major organs. Grooming, nutrition, basic health care management, and animal sexing are also discussed in this course. Pre-requisites: VAT110

VAT130 Laboratory Procedures – 4.5 credit hours

In this course, students will learn how to properly obtain and handle voided urine and fecal samples, assist in obtaining blood samples for procedures, and how to prepare and set up various laboratory tests and laboratory equipment.  Handling of deceased animals will also be covered in this course.  Lab included. Pre-requisites: None

VAT140 Pharmacology – 4.5 credit hours

In this course, an overview of drugs will be discussed to familiarize students with common generic and brand name medications. Classes of medications and medical abbreviations associated with prescriptions, reading and filling prescriptions, and dosing and dispensing will be discussed. Students will also learn basic administration of medications.  Lab included.  Pre-requisites: None

VAT150 Radiology – 4.5 credit hours

Students will learn the safety measures related to diagnostic imaging, as well as, labeling, filing, processing and development of images for diagnostic purposes. Lab included.  Pre-requisites: VAT110

VAT170 Veterinary Clinical Procedures – 4.5 credit hours

In this course, students will understand and learn the proper procedure to perform a physical examination on an animal. Students will also learn how to assist in the restraint and positioning of animals. Basic nursing skills such as nail trims, external anal gland expressions, external ear cleaning, and bathing will be discussed. Animal CPR is also taught.  Lab included.  Pre-requisites: VAT110

VAT180 Hospital and Surgical Procedures – 4.5 credit hours

In this course, students will understand basic surgical preparation, including equipment, sterilization methods, asepsis, common surgical instruments and suture material, positioning, scrubbing, maintenance of surgical logs, and proper operating room sanitation and etiquette. In the course, students will also learn about basic cleanliness and orderliness of a veterinary facility.   Lab included.  Pre-requisites: VAT110

VAT200 Veterinary Assisting Externship – 6 credit hours

In this course, students will work in a live animal care setting for 180 hours. A qualified veterinary care professional supervised the student during this activity. Pre-requisites: Completion of all core courses, including all pre-clinical requirements.

Career options upon graduation:

  • Animal Hospitals
  • Animal Specialty Clinics
  • Animal Day Care Facilities
  • Animal Shelters
  • Boarding Facilities
  • Pet Stores
  • Veterinary Clinics

Veterinary Assisting program is available at these locations: