If you love animals, the first career many people think about is a veterinarian; however, there are other jobs in this field you may wish to consider. If you like working with both people and animals you may wish to become a veterinarian office assistant (VOA). As a VOA, you would be the first person that the animals and their people come into contact with and often times they are distressed or anxious so it is very important that you make this a smooth transition for them.

What Does a VOA Do?

1. Meet and Greet the Owners. As I mentioned this can often be a difficult time for pet owners because they are usually bringing their pets in for medical attention. Sometimes it may be for routine examinations but it may be an emergency matter as well. This can make someone who is usually calm and relaxed very anxious and your people skills will determine the end result of this occasion. Handling stress, being personable and friendly, and being able to verbally communicate well are very important parts of your job.
2. Care of the animals. The VOA is often the person who grooms and feed the animals on a daily basis and you may even need to administer medications that the vet has prescribed. When at a veterinary facility, animals may not be themselves. It is a strange environment and they are surrounded by people they don't know and there are often other animals around making noises. It can be very stressful for the animals so they need someone that is calming and assuring. Your love of animals can be a great asset to you but you'll also need to know proper handling techniques.
3. After surgery care. After animals have been operated on you will need to make sure that they are being tended to properly. They can be very insecure and afraid after a surgery and your tender loving care can make the experience a little bit better for them

Being a VOA is not just about being good with animals and people though. You'll need to be educated as well. You need to know the medical terminology so that you can communicate effectively with the other staff members. You'll need to know proper handling techniques so that when you help the vet with the animals you won't hurt them. You'll need to become familiar with the drugs that are used in animal pharmacy, as well.

The best way to get started in a career as a veterinary office assistant is to take a diploma course. There are many business skills that offer courses like this. Some of the things you might want to look for are:
• Instructors with real life experience
• Coverage of all the main topics
• Practical experience in the class room
• Work practicum placement so you can get experience

Are you ready to start your career as a veterinary office assistant?