JOB DESCRIPTION: Veterinary Assistant

The Veterinary Assistant supports the veterinarians, veterinary technicians and receptionists in all duties of the hospital, and ensures a comfortable and sanitary environment for all patients at Sunnyvale Veterinary Clinic. The responsibilities vary with current needs of the hospital team, the season of the year, and the individual abilities demonstrated by the employee. This is an overview of the position and the duties listed do not encompass the entire position. The Veterinary Assistant is under the direct guidance and supervision of the Technician team Leader and the Veterinarians.

Primary Responsibilities 

  • Ensure a comfortable and sanitary environment for all patients.

  • Responsible for care of hospitalized patients including keeping all wards and kennels properly cleaned and disinfected, exercising, feeding, laundry, bathing and dipping procedures and keeping patients clean.

  • Clean exams rooms after each visit and preparing for the next client and patient. Ensure supplies are always available and adequately stocked in exam rooms and treatment room.

  • Prepare and sanitize surgery suites. Clean and maintain holding areas.

  • Properly maintain equipment according to maintenance schedule.

  • Properly and safely restrain patients, reliably and with compassion to prepare for procedures performed by technicians and/or doctors.  Is conscious of patient comfort needs.

  • Observe patients throughout the day for signs of illness, parasites and disease control, assessment of change in patient status. Report any abnormalities or concerns to the veterinarian in charge.

  • Communicate with pet owners using a professional, cheerful, and helpful attitude, using knowledge of preventative health care recommendations to accurately answer questions and relay doctor’s information.

  • Assist in marketing veterinary services from which client pets would benefit.

  • Assist receptionists with out-patients, boarding and hospitalized patients from admission to discharge with clerical and administrative work, including knowledge of patient charts, vaccine schedules, proper phone call etiquette, and other front desk procedures.

  • Perform simple in-house laboratory tests, complete forms for out sourced laboratory tests, accurately file laboratory reports and clean up laboratory area.  

  • Under direction of veterinarian, administer oral medications.

  • Assist with nail trimming, ear cleaning, client education, filling prescriptions and computer transaction entry during office hours or treatment times.

  • Unpack, label and stock hospital supplies; stock cleaning and office supplies, stock kennel supplies.  Ensure that supplies for cleaning, animal food, paper towels, etc. are current.

  • Accurately dispense medication which the doctor has prescribed.

  • Assist in inventory procedures.

  • Prep patients for surgery, assist when needed.

  • Assist veterinarian with the operation of the anesthesia machine and other applicable equipment.

  • Assist in radiology.

  • Prepare surgery packs and cutting surgery drapes.

  • Clean and autoclave syringes, needles and other surgical instruments. Thoroughly clean autoclave per hospital schedule.

  • Ensure that literature is always available for you or the doctor to give to client.

  • Assist the Veterinarian and Veterinary Technician during pet dental cleanings.

  • Feed and exercise patients, as needed.

  • Educate clients on products and medications sold including dietary products and answer questions regarding product purchase/use.

  • Work well with all employees and ensure that your actions support the hospital, the doctors, and the medicine that we practice.

  • Follow OSHA regulations.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Controls Over Work

The Veterinary Technician Assistant works under Veterinary Technician Team Leader, the Practice Manager or the Veterinarians who provide continuing or individual assignments indicating generally what is to be done, limitations, quality and quantity expected, deadlines and priority of assignments. The practitioners provide additional, specific instructions for new, difficult or unusual assignments in animal health care, including suggested work methods or advice on source materials available.

The Veterinary Technician Assistant uses initiative in carrying out recurring assignments independently without specific instructions, but refers deviations, problems, and unfamiliar situations not covered by instructions to the practitioner for decision or help. The practitioners assure that finished work and methods used are technically accurate and in compliance with instructions or established procedures. Review of the work increases with more difficult assignments, if the veterinary technician assistant has not previously performed similar assignments.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Knowledge of the procedures used for receiving, treating, and scheduling patients, for ordering medical supplies, and requesting laboratory tests.

  • Knowledge of the use, care, and storage of veterinary instruments, materials, and equipment.

  • Knowledge of sterilization techniques to sterilize various instruments and materials.

  • Knowledge of the instruments, materials, and standardized procedures used in the full variety of treatments to make preparations and provide “tableside” assistance.

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

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

  • Ability to work independently on assigned tasks as well as to accept direction on given assignments.

  • Critical thinking - Understanding logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Exhibit strong problem solving and an organized approach to the position.

Physical Effort

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the primary functions of this job.

  • Frequently required to bend, stand, stoop, walk, sit, talk, and listen, frequently working in a bent position.

  • Frequently use hands to manipulate, handle, or feel; will reach with hands and arms.

  • Use strength or agility in capturing and restraining stronger, more active animals.

  • Frequently lift and/or move up to 40 pounds.

Occasionally handle dogs weighing up to and over 150 lbs. Assistance will be provided by animal handlers when working with larger animals.

Work Environment

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to hazards associated with aggressive patients; hazards associated with infected animals and controlled substances; exposure to unpleasant odors and noises; exposure to bites, scratches and animal wastes; possible exposure to contagious diseases.

Follow federal and state animal health laws and regulations including OSHA and DEA.

Essential Functions

  • Receive, handle and treat patients with skill, compassion and care including: accurately perform laboratory tests.

  • Ability to clean and sanitize the hospital, treatment rooms and public areas and any other areas as assigned to ensure a safe, sanitary environment for the patients.

  • Accurately dispense and administer medications under the supervision of a doctor.

  • Accurately and timely input data into computer software system.

  • Ability to observe animal appearance and activity for general physical condition, obvious signs of illness, disease and discontent.

  • Regular attendance and timeliness are an essential function in order to fulfill the requirements of this position.

  • Strong communication and client service skills. Considerable tact and diplomacy is required. Ability to work with clients and patients in a professional, friendly, hospitable manner.

  • Work well with all team members and ensure that your actions support the hospital, the doctors, and the practice philosophy.

  • Perform general physical activities that require bending, standing, stooping, moving from room to room, sit, talk, and listen; may be required to walk or stand for long periods of time; will use hands to manipulate, handle, or feel; will reach with hands and arms.

  • Can maintain positive, cooperative relationships with other employees.

  • Can display tact and respect with team members even when busy or hectic.

  • Frequently lift, carry and handle dogs weighing 40 lbs.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed in this job. These statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and activities required of the position.



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© 2020 Sunnyvale Veterinary Clinic, Inc.

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