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Veterinary Assistant

Oulton-College- Veterinary Assistant Website Bannner

**PLEASE NOTE: For insurance and regulatory reasons, Oulton does not provide veterinary services to public citizens. Our teaching hospital is limited to registered rescue animals (for example SPCA and CARMA).
Here is a link for local veterinary service providers: https://nbvma-amvnb.ca/locate-a-veterinarian/

You are:

  • Caring and kind
  • Loving of animals
  • Customer service oriented
  • A people person
  • A team player

What does a vet assistant do?

Veterinary Assistants often manage the day-to-day operations of a veterinary clinic, providing both customer assistance and patient care as part of their everyday duties.

Will I get to practice with hands-on training?

As with all courses at Oulton College, we make sure you have lots of time to practice the skills taught in the classroom. You’ll have a chance to put your knowledge to the test on sit at our Veterinary Clinic, learn to be comfortable working in a laboratory, and also take part in a four-week practicum placement in a veterinary clinic. Our program will provide you with the hands-on training you require to work with Veterinary Technicians and Veterinarians.

What will I learn?

In addition to skills development, you will also learn how to manage the day-to-day operations of a veterinary clinic.

Term: September – June

Practicum: 4 weeks

You Will Learn:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Veterinary Medical Terminology
  • Husbandry
  • Office Administration
  • Surgical Assisting

Admissions Requirements:

  • Grade 12 Diploma, Adult Diploma or GED
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology considered an asset
  • Grade 11 or 12 English considered an asset
  • Meeting with an Admissions Advisor
  • Acceptance by the Admissions Committee
  • Completion of the Pre-Enrollment Package
  • Geographical quotas may be considered

*Based on New Brunswick Anglophone High School Curriculum. For other provincial or international requirements please contact us directly.

Unless they have completed a minimum of three years of study at a school where English is the language of instruction, international students whose first language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency:

  • CAEL – minimum score of 60 
  • IELTS – 6.0, with no individual score lower than 5.5 
  • TOEFL (IBT) – 80, with no individual score lower than 18 
  • MELAB – minimum score of 80 
  • Duolingo – minimum score of 105 with no subject test score less than 95
  • Cambridge English – minimum score of 169 
  • Pearson Test of English – minimum score of 50 

Please see the international application process here.

Course Descriptions:

Computer Applications (Microsoft Office)

Basic computer concepts, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint are taught. Students will also be expected to attain a minimum of 30 words per minute.

Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

Overview of anatomy and physiology and common diseases in dogs and cats. Each body system will be discussed along with examples of common diseases and disorders for each body system.

Veterinary Medical Terminology

Students learn correct medical terminology for use in communicating with other veterinary professionals and clients. Medical terms will be broken down into roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Terminology will be presented relating to body systems, common diagnostic procedures, and anatomical directions.

General Office Administration

This course focuses on the vet assistant’s role in the veterinary practice as a small business. The roles of various veterinary health care team members are defined. Office responsibilities of the administrator such as writing memos, letters and preparing for meetings is an integral portion of this course, all general reception duties are described, along with basic office procedures such as inventory and file management. An introduction to bookkeeping will prepare students to understand basic accounting functions for front office.

Clinical Procedures I

This course will include theory and practice to allow student to learn and practice safe handling, restraint and husbandry of cats and dogs. Student will identify canine and feline breeds, and learn basic canine and feline behavior. Cleaning, sanitation, and isolation procedures of the veterinary facility will also be discussed.

Clinical Procedures II

Students will continue to learn, through a combination of theory and labs, basic nursing procedures for dogs and cats. Data collection and record keeping for in-hospital and outpatients will be described. Preventative medicine and basic clinical nutrition will also be discussed. This course will discuss the vet assistant’s role in communication and client relations in the veterinary practice, including grief and conflict situations. Medical records and appointment management will be discussed. Commonly used veterinary practice software systems will be introduced. Occupational health and safety issues and professional ethics are also discussed.

Lab Procedures and Imaging

Combination of theory and practice to introduce the student to basic lab techniques. Students will also learn to assist the veterinarian or veterinary technician with the production of diagnostic quality radiographs, with an emphasis on radiation safety for staff and patients. Students will learn how to collect and process samples for diagnostic procedures and how to perform basic diagnostic tests.


Students will be introduced to the nomenclature of common veterinary products – their classifications, indications, side effects, and administration routes. Pharmacy skills include safe handling, record keeping, dispensing and disposal of drug products. Basic pharmacy calculations are discussed and practiced.

Surgical Assisting

With a combination of lectures and labs, students will learn aseptic techniques related to surgical procedures. Students will practice the identification, care and sterilization of surgical and dental instruments. Students will learn the skills needed to assist with aseptic preparation of the surgical patient and surgical team. Post-surgical cleanup and disposal of hazardous materials will be discussed.

*Content is subject to change by administration as required to meet program and profession standards.

Career Choices:

Veterinary Assistants are an important part of the animal healthcare team. Career opportunities include:

    • Veterinary Clinics and Hospitals
    • Diagnostic Laboratories
    • Zoos and Wildlife Parks
    • Veterinary Supply or Sales