Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretaker Career

Job 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 postoperative 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.


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Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretaker Career

What Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers do:

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

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Holland Code Chart for a Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretaker