Veterinary assistants are integral members of animal healthcare teams. These jobs are multifaceted, and entail providing customer service while using knowledge of anesthesiology, sterilization technology, lab technology, diagnostics, vaccines and serums, and surgical technology.
Texas Veterinary Assistant Schools
Veterinary assisting schools in Texas keep a consistent number of students flowing through, and some schools have admissions waiting lists. Here are a few examples of schools in the area that offer this type of program:
- Cedar Valley College: Located in Lancaster, TX, this college graduates more veterinary assistants than any other school in the state.
- McLennan Community College: The second-largest program in the state, this Waco-based college is well-respected and very affordable.
- Pima Medical Institute: Houston - An exclusive school, Pima is well-known for graduating capable and work-ready individuals.
- Palo Alto College: This San Antonio-based educational program is a regional favorite and student retention rates are very high. This is a high-value program.
- Lone Star College System: Small class sizes and very reasonable tuition rates help cement this college on the favorites list.
What to Expect from Texas Vet Assisting Programs
Certified Veterinary Assistants are exposed to numerous aspects of animal health care. Students study veterinary exam procedures, animal pharmacology and husbandry, x-ray imaging basics, lab safety, and quarantining. To gain certification, students must pass exams with the Texas Veterinary Medical Association after fulfilling course requirements. Coursework and classroom offerings may include:
- Introduction to Veterinary Medicine: Most veterinary assistant schools in Texas require at least 12 hours of course work in veterinary medicine, where they learn about veterinary careers and offices, different types of working environments, customer service, basic veterinary terminology and how to restrain animals. Some colleges also highlight the human-animal bond in these courses.
- Introduction to Veterinary Technology: Sometimes up to an 86 hour course, this class teaches students about the most basic animal handling and care techniques and the ethics of veterinarian work.
- Veterinarian Career Success Training: Consisting of 24 classroom hours, this course teaches students how to apply for and land jobs, how to dress for the job, how to traverse office difficulties and how to remain a consummate professional in the workplace.
- Practical Training: Classroom training is only the beginning of becoming a certified veterinary assistant. Students must complete a minimum of 500 hours of hands on training or job shadowing with an emphasis on skills training.
- Exams: Upon completion of all course work and practical training, students are eligible to take the CVA 1 certification exam proctored by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
Texas Veterinary Assisting License
Veterinary Assistant Training Programs are standard across the State of Texas. Students must attend a state-approved training program and the following criteria must be met to get certified:
- Attending mandatory classroom hours
- Prove academic proficiency
- 500 hours of hands-on training
- Attaining all of the skills required by the Skills Validation Checklist
- Get Skills Validation Checklist approved and turn in with the exam application
- Pass the certification exam
Resources for Vet Assisting in Texas