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Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

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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.

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

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Critical Thinking

      Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

    • Monitoring

      Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

    WorkKeys®
    Applied Math
    3
    Workplace Documents
    4
    Graphic Literacy
    3
    Abilities
    • Oral Comprehension

      The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

    • Oral Expression

      The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

    • Information Ordering

      The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

    Knowledge
    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    • Biology

      Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

    Career Video
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    Pay
    • Ohio Annual Salary 25990/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 12.49/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 2,740
    • Yearly Projected Openings 430
    Typical Education
    Personality
    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Dependability
    • Integrity
    • Attention to Detail
    • Self Control
    • Cooperation
    • Persistence
    Tools
    • Veterinary injection or suction units or accessories
    • Urinalysis analyzers
    • Muzzles
    • Medical x ray units for general diagnostic use
    • Animal shearing or clipping equipment
    Technology
    • Word processing software
    • Presentation software
    • Office suite software
    • Medical software
    • Label making software
    Tags
    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.