Top 5 Veterinary Assistant Skills

– Updated April 4, 2023 –

Naturally, many animal lovers consider a Veterinary Assistant career at some point in their lives. But beyond being passionate about animals and possessing the skills and knowledge a veterinary professional must have, there are additional character traits that hold just as much importance in the field. If you are considering pursuing such a career, here are 5 veterinary assistant skills you’ll need to succeed.

Skill #1: Being Flexible

You’ll be called on to help in a variety of situations when you’re a veterinary assistant. Sometimes you’ll assist vet techs in the lab, while other times, you’ll help the veterinarian with a particular procedure. But whether you’re cleaning out a cage or administering medication, you need to know that you’re one of the most important members of the veterinary team. Your ability and willingness to take on any task keep a veterinarian team running and animals healthy.

Skill #2: Staying Calm Under Pressure

When you are working with animals, you need the ability to stay calm no matter what happens. Animals can sense our emotions, and when they visit the vet, they’re already under a lot of stress. To be a great veterinary assistant, you must stretch your emotions and let them feel your calmness to show they have nothing to worry about. If the animals feel at ease, their owners will feel better about leaving them in your care.

Skill #3: Dealing with Gross Stuff

As a veterinary assistant, you may handle situations involving urine, stool, blood, vomit, diarrhea, and more regularly–and sometimes all in the same day. You may want to consider a different career if you are naturally squeamish about these things. However, if you are willing to work through your fears, there are always plenty of paper towels, disinfectants, and deodorizers on hand to quickly clean up a mess! Plus, the more you are around these situations, the more you’ll get used to them.

Skill #4: Having People Skills

In addition to working well with animals, one of the most valuable veterinary assistant skills is working with humans. In a veterinary practice, you’re going to encounter many worried pet owners. Thus, you’ll need sharp people skills to handle certain situations with poise and courtesy. Being transparent and communicative with owners will go a long way in easing their minds. It may be a challenge when you have a lot happening all at once, but as long as you can stay calm and polite, you’ll be the best veterinary assistant you can be.

Skill #5: Being Organized and Detail-Oriented

As a veterinary assistant, you’ll spend some of your time labeling samples, running tests, dispensing medicines, recording patient information, and prepping things for animal surgery. You’ll be juggling a lot on a strict schedule, so you must stay on top of the details–take notes! When it comes specifically to procedures, you’ll need to take extra caution. Never be afraid to ask questions and double-check everything you do because even a tiny mistake can affect a life. Vet assistants also observe animals as they recover from surgery, so it’s important to be able to notice any changes or complications to report to the veterinarian.

Being a Veterinary Assistant can be a challenging and rewarding career. If you think you have these essential Veterinary Assistant skills, then pursuing this profession might be an excellent decision. And if you’re ready to make that leap, consider talking to an admissions advisor at Milwaukee Career College. MCC has full accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Through our hands-on Veterinary Assistant program, you can complete your education and begin working in less than one year!

Ready to launch the veterinary career you’ve been dreaming of? Contact us or call 800-645-5157 to learn more about Milwaukee Career College’s Veterinary Assistant Program.






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