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Details for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers


Description

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.

Tasks

  • Monitor animals' recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
  • Administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals.
  • Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments and equipment.
  • Administer medication, immunizations, and blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Provide emergency first aid to sick or injured animals.
  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination and operating rooms, and animal loading/unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests or diagnostic tests such as taking and developing x-rays.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.
  • Collect laboratory specimens such as blood, urine, and feces for testing.
  • Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.
  • Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
  • Prepare surgical equipment, and pass instruments and materials to veterinarians during surgical procedures.
  • Perform enemas, catheterization, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, and gavages.
  • Prepare feed for animals according to specific instructions such as diet lists and schedules.
  • Exercise animals, and provide them with companionship.
  • Record information relating to animal genealogy, feeding schedules, appearance, behavior, and breeding.
  • Educate and advise clients on animal health care, nutrition, and behavior problems.
  • Perform hygiene-related duties such as clipping animals' claws, and cleaning and polishing teeth.
  • Prepare examination or treatment rooms by stocking them with appropriate supplies.
  • Provide assistance with euthanasia of animals and disposal of corpses.
  • Perform office reception duties such as scheduling appointments and helping customers.
  • Dust, spray, or bathe animals to control insect pests.
  • Write reports, maintain research information, and perform clerical duties.
  • Perform accounting duties, including bookkeeping, billing customers for services, and maintaining inventories.
  • Assist professional personnel with research projects in commercial, public health, or research laboratories.
  • Sell pet food and supplies to customers.
  • Groom, trim, or clip animals' coats.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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.

Skills

Related Careers

  • Agricultural Technicians
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Nonfarm Animal Caretakers
  • Nursery Workers
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Surgical Technologists
Wages for this career
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