Become a Veterinary Assistant
Distance Learning Course of 12 Lessons
Do you love animals? Have you ever thought about a career as a veterinary assistant? This course, taught by a practicing veterinarian and college instructor, will give you the information you need to prepare for work in veterinary hospitals.
What vaccinations do cats and dogs really need and how often should they be given? What is the best way to control fleas? What do you do if your dog has a cut? What is the best way to deal with an emergency situation involving a pet? This course will answer all these questions and more.
You’ll learn about pet nutrition and a variety of health and safety issues. You’ll understand how to treat and prevent parasites, including roundworms and heartworms. You’ll even learn the facts of life, as it pertains to dogs and cats.
You’ll explore current thoughts on spaying and neutering, and how to deal with the very emotional issues of euthanasia, pet loss, and how best to assist clients in a time of need.
Special lessons will target specific aspects of veterinary assistant duties. Did you know that a veterinary assistant needs to dispense medications just like a pharmacist? You’ll learn how to interpret medical prescriptions that look like Greek scribbles to the untrained eye.
You’ll also understand the hazards of working in a veterinary setting so that you can protect yourself from x-ray exposure, infections carried by animals, and potential damage from teeth and claws.
Veterinary hospitals are small businesses, not just places of medicine, so you will also gain a complete understanding of their economics – how income is generated and where it goes. You will also explore marketing and communication because they are essential factors in making a business successful.
Even if you are already employed in a veterinary hospital, you will find this course invaluable in helping you understand the reasoning behind decisions and recommendations made by veterinarians. And if you’re a pet owner, this course will help you better assess the quality of veterinary care your pets receive.
Tuition & Fees
This course run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.
Wednesday – Lesson 01
Our first lesson will start way back at the beginning—you’ll learn how ancient veterinary medicine evolved into the modern-day practice that you’re accustomed to. You’ll also learn why a veterinary assistant is just as important to the success of the practice as the veterinarian. In the second component of this lesson, you’ll learn all about dog and cat reproduction. You’ll learn the normal hormonal cycles and breeding times, and then delve into the benefits of sterilization.
Friday – Lesson 02
In this lesson, you’ll learn how vaccines protect against disease. And just as important, you’ll learn why they sometimes fail. We’ll take a close look at how often vaccines should be given, why they may be ill-advised, and why vaccinosis is so controversial.
Wednesday – Lesson 03
Today, we’ll talk about the importance of parasites that can infest both pets and people. You’ll see the worms that live in the intestines, and also get acquainted with heartworm, a nasty guy that lives in the arteries. We’ll explore how parasites infect people, what they do, and how to prevent their invasion.
Friday – Lesson 04
Have you ever wondered how to pick the best food for your pet? This lesson will give you the tools to make the right decision, and how best to pass the information on to your clients. We’ll also talk about the role of prescription diets in pet health.
Wednesday – Lesson 05
This will certainly be the most emotional lesson in the entire course. The topic is euthanasia, and we’ll look at it from the perspectives of both the client and the hospital employee. We’ll explore the stages of grief that everyone goes through after a loss. You’ll also see what the procedure entails, how to help a grieving client, and tools for assisting children with pet loss.
Friday – Lesson 06
In this lesson, you’ll learn why a veterinary hospital can be a dangerous place. You’ll see how X-rays, anesthetics, and certain drugs can harm you. You’ll finish this lesson with Economics 101, a glimpse into the cash flow of a typical veterinary hospital.
Wednesday – Lesson 07
This lesson will help you in a crisis. Designed like a short course in human first aid, this lesson will help you cope with almost any emergency, and we’ll discuss ways that some emergencies can be prevented. There’s even a segment on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, dog and cat style!
Friday – Lesson 08
What is the most important parasite affecting our pets? If you answered the flea, you’re right. In this lesson, you’ll learn all about this parasite that lives on the skin. You’ll also hear about other crawling parasites that live in the skin (mange) and how they can be managed.
Wednesday – Lesson 09
Did you know that, as a hospital employee, any advice you give could end up in a lawsuit? You’ll see how to maintain client confidentiality and how to avoid grievances. You’ll round off your study on client communications with an introduction to client education programs.
Friday – Lesson 10
As soon as you’re hired as a veterinary assistant, you become a pharmacist, helping to prepare prescriptions. In this lesson, you’ll find out how to do this correctly. You’ll also learn about your role in keeping accurate medical records. We’ll end the lesson with a short course on marketing, taking a close look at some of the best tools you can use to keep old clients and attract new ones.
Wednesday – Lesson 11
This lesson is probably the most controversial: Here, you’ll learn all about alternative therapies that some veterinarians are applying in their practices, including acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, and chiropractic care. And when it comes to pet food, is commercial, home-cooked, or raw the best choice? We’ll examine the plusses and minuses of each possible diet.
Friday – Lesson 12
In our last lesson, we’ll take a close look at animal behavior. You’ll delve into how best to train puppies and kittens, and more importantly, how to share the information with your clients. At the end of the course, you’ll see how everything you’ve learned can be put together for a comprehensive health plan covering everything from behavior, vaccinations, and nutrition to castration, euthanasia, and alternative therapies.
On completion of this course, you will receive one qualification:
Become a Veterinary Assistant Certificate of Completion
A 65% or better must be achieved in order to receive a Certificate of Completion.
About The Instructor
Jeff Grognet has been a companion animal veterinarian for 25 years. He was a pioneer in the field of veterinary assistant teaching, developing his first course almost 20 years ago. The overwhelming success of his veterinary receptionist/assistant college courses led him to expand his teaching into other areas in high demand, including pet first aid and alternative medical therapies for companion animals. He practices with his wife at a Veterinary Hospital in BC, Canada. Jeff has published a large and diverse number of articles and is a regular contributing author to several magazines.
This course is an online course.
A new session of this course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
There is no experience or previous qualifications required for enrollment on this course. It is available to all students, of all academic backgrounds.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari (We recommend Firefox or Chrome).
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
“I loved taking this class from a vet’s perspective…I am using this course to hopefully get me a job at a veterinarian office. I feel much more knowledgeable about all matters of a vet’s office!”
“Wow! Thank you, Dr.Jeff and assistants, what an amazing course! I really learned so much. Dr. Jeff made this course so much fun. This was my first online course and what a great experience. I plan on taking more of your courses in the future. Thank you!”
“I loved this course. I’ve always wanted to work in the field of veterinary medicine and this class has definitely helped me learn a lot of topics. I feel as if this course will help me get to where I’d like to be in my career. I also thought that the instructor was very experienced on the subject and very helpful.”
“This course was a great experience for me. I had no idea, until I began this course, all the knowledge I gained from every chapter. This course was very encouraging and I highly recommend the instructor for all his professional skills. I would recommend anyone to take this course whom is looking into advancing as a veterinary assistant course. Thank you, Dr. Jeff”
“Dr. Jeff and Tracy the assistant were the best! This is my first online course ever, and it surpassed my expectations for what online learning would be like. I felt engaged, not isolated. Also, the little interactive activities embedded in the lessons were so helpful. I learn best when I can use and work with the information.”
“The instructor was excellent. He made my online learning very educational and interesting. I enjoyed all his lessons and will absolutely sign up for his other courses. I definitely recommend him! Thank you for your lessons.”
“This course was very informative and Dr. Jeff’s curriculum was spot-on. I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to work as a veterinary assistant or to a pet owner who wants to be more knowledgeable as it relates to their pet’s care.”
“This course was really well designed and easy to follow. The information was extremely pertinent and covered many necessary basics not only to becoming a veterinarian assistant, but to simply be a good pet owner. The instructor was very friendly, always answered questions quickly and accurately, and encouraged discussion among the students as well.”
“I was really impressed with this course. Jeff Grognet has a way of transmitting information that was not only thorough, but showed a lot of compassion for pets, their owners, and those who work with them. He shared his experiences in the field which was helpful and educational…I liked the breadth of information offered, from medical to office management to CPR and on. I liked that the final allowed me to refer back to the lessons to find answers — doing this really made me review everything…I’ll be referring back to this course often as my work with animals continues.”
“This course was fantastic! Easily managed but packed with information. The course layout on the website was also amazing…I was even able to print and save the lessons so I could keep reviewing it in the future! The instructor’s expertise was impressive…The little games and quizzes helped to add a bit of that charm that’s usually lost in an online course of this type. I would definitely recommend this course to others and I would love to take the next two courses in this series in the future.”