The veterinary assistant provides caring, compassionate and detail oriented care for hospitalized patients and outpatients. The veterinary assistant assists the veterinarian and veterinary technicians in any and all treatments, procedures and diagnostics performed in hospital. This employee takes care of the everyday needs of pets in hospital, and helps maintains the hospital facility, keeping it neat, clean and well stocked.
Experience Requirements: Previous veterinary assistant experience is preferred. At a minimum previous pet experience is required.
Educational: Completion of 4 years of high school or equivalent is required.
Physical: Must have the strength and stamina to lift approximately 50 pounds, walk dogs weighing up to 130 pounds and work on feet all day.
Ergonomic: An employee in this position must be capable of safely working in environment with potential exposure to hazardous materials, infectious and zoonotic diseases.
Other: An employee in this position must have a sense of caring for animals; be willing and available to stay late or through breaks, when needed, to assist with emergency or critical-care patients is needed. Maintain strict confidentiality regarding clients and patients for whom the practice provides veterinary services. Ability to multi-task, prioritize and delegate while maintaining composure in stressful situations is expected.
Essential Job Functions:
- Always be in position and prepared to work at the start of each scheduled shift.
- Competently speak and write the English language.
- Continuously strive to gain more information, and additional skills as pertains to the job.
- Follow OSHA standards, and other safety protocols and procedures put in place by MVS.
- Know and use standard medical and business abbreviations and terminology when speaking and writing.
- Know the range of services the practice provides and the species it treats.
- Maintain a professional appearance while at work, including clean and pressed uniforms or clothes.
- Participate in all staff meetings.
- Perform other duties as assigned
- Stay current on policies, procedures and schedule by checking your personal e-mail, reading the weekly meeting minutes and WhentoWork daily.
- Understand and be able to recognize animal behaviors (ex. Fear, aggression), know how to change approach to animal based on behavior.
Anesthesia and Surgical Procedures:
- Basic knowledge of steam and gas sterilization techniques.
- Demonstrate proper safety precautions when working with anesthetic chemicals and equipment.
- Insure all appropriate charges are entered into Infinity.
- Knowledge of basic surgical instruments.
- Understanding of the sterile field.
Attitude and Behavior:
- Demonstrate commitment, dedication, cooperation and positive behavior
- Handle stress and pressure with poise and tact.
- Promote a positive attitude among staff. Smile and maintain a friendly demeanor while on the job.
- Show respect and compassion for clients, team members, and animals (alive or deceased) at all times.
- Answer phone by the third ring if CSR is pre-occupied or unavailable.
- Assist grieving clients and comfort them. Be familiar with the grieving process. Always be sensitive to the background chatter and conversations that could exacerbate the anxiety and grief clients are experiencing.
- Complete phone training with member of management team.
- Cordially greet clients and their pets, addressing each by name.
- Discuss treatment and diagnostic costs to owners, insure owners of patients to be hospitalized are provided with an accurate estimate with code status chosen and that proper deposits are collected.
- Handle challenging clients with a calm and reassuring demeanor; know when to bring in member of management team.
- Maintain communication with clients waiting in lobby, continuously update them of status.
- Provide counseling and compassion for clients; answer their questions unless it is clear attending doctor should do so.
Patient Care and Comfort:
- Always wash hands after handling patients to minimize the spread of infectious diseases and pathogens.
- Prepare and feed patients as directed by veterinary technician or veterinarian, know the different prescription diets and their uses
- Provide clean bedding, water and litter pans for hospitalized pets according to individual patient needs.
- Understand and be able to recognize obvious abnormalities in vital signs and immediately notify technician and/or veterinarian
- Understand the various types of voids and how to collect and handle properly.
- Basic knowledge of commonly used medications, routes of administration, side effects, dose, drug interactions, etc.
- Prepare medications and prescriptions for dispensing under direct supervision of CVT or Veterinarian and be able to teach owners how to administer.
- Use proper aseptic technique in drawing up medications.
Physical Plant Maintenance:
- Aware of potentially zoonotic diseases and how to avoid exposure.
- Launder soiled linens using established protocols.
- Maintain cages, runs, and/or hospital facilities, including exam rooms, treatment room, isolation area, ICU wards, employee lounge, bathrooms and doctor’s office in a neat, sanitary and stocked condition.
- Maintain constant vigilance regarding open doorways that could allow pets to escape from their cage or facility.
- Maintenance of all work areas including but not limited to sweeping, mopping, emptying garbage and recyclables, dusting, and cleaning counter tops, kennels, and wet sinks.
- Insure all appropriate charges are entered into patient invoice.
- Insure all treatments and diagnostics are in Infinity prior to the chart going up front for discharge.
- Insure proper documentation and labeling of deceased patient for cremation or home burial.
- Maintain detailed and accurate medical record using Infinity and paper records such as 24-hr treatment sheet.
Technical Animal Knowledge and Skills:
- Know and be able to execute proper fecal and urine collection methods.
- Know proper administration techniques for IV, IM, SQ and oral medications under direct supervision of CVT or veterinarian.
- Learn and understand how to properly care for and work with equipment (ex. Oxygen cages, Infusion pumps).
- Learn and understand surgical instruments and their proper sterilization techniques.
- Learn and understand “routine” emergencies and how to set-up for them (ex. Bloat, FUS, HBC).
- Understand proper use of digital x-ray machine.
- Minimize radiation hazards: use protective equipment and wear dosimetry badge
- Consistently use Right and Left markers
- Follow instruction from veterinary technician for proper positioning
- Properly burn/copy x-rays
- Use proper technique to shave patients, which minimizes clipper burn and skin trauma.
- Use safe, reliable, and confident restraint, while showing compassion and care. Use provided restraint tools effectively.
- Understand how to monitor, adjust and maintain IV infusion pumps, syringe pumps, programmable syringe pumps.