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Veterinary Assistant

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
815 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
33 Weeks
Includes holidays and professional days.
Delivery Methods:
  • In-Class Instruction
  • Distance Education / Online
  • Combined Delivery (Both In-Class and Distance)
Program content is subject to change.
Pursue a career working with animals with Sprott Shaw’s Veterinary Assistant Program

Online and On-Campus Delivery Options may be available!

A Veterinary Assistant (VA) cares for animals under the supervision of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or Animal Health Technologist (AHT). They perform a multitude of tasks including: feeding, medicating and prepping of patients as well as restraining them during examinations, procedures and treatments.

The Veterinary Assistant diploma program equips students with the technical knowledge and hands-on skills to provide an extensive range of animal care services for both the office and clinical settings of either general practice (GP), emergency (ER), and specialty veterinary hospitals. Additional employment opportunities for graduates include but are not limited to: animal rehabilitation, animal control centers, research facilities and pharmaceutical representatives.

Throughout the program, students will receive specialized training in eight key areas: animal restraint, nutrition, pharmacology, clinical nursing, human relations, administration, diseases, and prevention.

This program includes field day labs in addition to a practicum placement so students can gain relevant hands-on training and practical experience before graduation. 

Why Study at Sprott Shaw?

  • Lifetime access to dedicated Employment Services Specialists (ESS) who can help you with resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and the overall job search after graduation
  • Lifetime tuition-free access to course refreshers if you ever need to retrain and update your skills
  • Practicum opportunities with recognized organizations across BC including the Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley, Island Veterinary Hospital, Garden City Veterinary Hospital, Lifetime Veterinary Clinic, and much more
  • Multiple start dates so you can start your education when you want to without the wait
  • All-inclusive program costs where what you see is what you pay. Our cost includes registration fees, assessment fees, tuition, textbooks, scrubs, graduation fees, practicum fees, and much more
  • Preparation and orientation courses to teach you how to find credible research, write papers, create proper citation formats including APA, and study effectively for exams
  • Career and professional development success courses to help create a career development marketing plan, learn the cardinal rules of professionalism, and identify the target markets and employment resources for the veterinary field  
  • Grant and scholarship opportunities are available to help you save on tuition. Up to $4000 in scholarships and grants are open to recent high school graduates, Sprott Shaw alumni, military veterans, and more! Click here to browse our full list of grants and scholarships.

Veterinary Assistant Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Veterinary Assistant program, students will be able to:

  • Promote good health by discussing preventive measures for their pet with clientele
  • Demonstrate knowledge of vaccinations and parasite control
  • Handle and restrain companion animals safely
  • Understand basic veterinary terminology with applications to anatomy, physiology, and diseases
  • Demonstrate familiarity with common surgical procedures
  • Discuss important pre-operative and post-operative instructions
  • Identify with common feline and canine breeds
  • Perform all aspects relating to receptionist duties, including scheduling
  • Assisting during the following: taking x-rays, anesthesia, blood draws, catheterization, dentals and surgical procedures

Learn more about becoming a Veterinary Assistant

Where Are Sprott Shaw Graduates Working? 

Our Administration, Legal, and Hospitality graduates can be found working throughout the province. Graduates of our Administration programs are working in a diverse range of locations including the BC Cancer Agency and the Government of Canada. 

Graduates of our Veterinary Assistant program can be found in various veterinary clinics such as the Central City Animal Hospital and the Panorama Village Animal Hospital. 

Legal graduates can be found working in law firms and legal offices such as the Sea to Sky Law Office and Westside Family Law. Tourism and Hospitality graduates have been hired by Best Western, the Sandman Hotel Group, Grouse Mountain Tourism, and more. 

Click below to learn more about where our graduates are currently working. Please note that these lists do not cover every single business that has hired a Sprott Shaw graduate, but they do provide a good representation of the sort of industries that Sprott Shaw graduates are working in. 

Success Stories

  • “I chose Sprott Shaw because not only was the staff extremely helpful at answering any of my questions, but the fact that I can go back and refresh any of my learning from my classes is what really sold me.” – Kaitlyn S.

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

Contact Us Today!

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Career Opportunities

Animal Hospitals
Animal Shelters
Boarding Kennels
SPCA
Veterinary Clinics
Veterinary Supply Company
Admission Requirements:
  • Grade 12 / GED or mature student status (all transcripts must be “true certified copies” or originals).
  • Applicants must successfully complete the admissions interview and entrance assessments with a minimum score of 20/40 in the English Assessment and a minimum score of 20/40 in the Math Assessment (with a minimum composite score of 42/80).
  • For more information on English Language requirements and equivalencies please click here.

Domestic Students:

  • Domestic students that can provide a Canadian transcript showing completion of English 11 or 12 (or equivalent) with a passing grade of ‘C’, will be exempt from having to write the English Entrance Assessment.
  • Domestic students that can provide a Canadian transcript showing completion of Math 10, 11 or 12 (or equivalent) with a passing grade of ‘C’, will be exempt from having to write the Math Entrance Assessment.

International Students:

  • International students that can provide a Canadian transcript showing completion of Math 10, 11 or 12 (or equivalent) with a passing grade of ‘C’ will be exempt from having to write the Math Entrance Assessment. The equivalent credential must be evaluated and verified.
  • International students that can provide a Canadian transcript showing completion of English 11 or 12 (or equivalent) with a passing grade of ‘C’ will be exempt from having to write the English Entrance Assessment. The equivalent credential must be evaluated and verified.
  • International students can also meet the English requirement by demonstrating one of the following three options:
  • Sprott Shaw’s English Language Assessment, OR
  • Minimum IELTS Score 5.5 overall or iBT TOFEL Score of 70, OR
  • Completion of an ESL program from one of SSC’s partnered ESL schools.
Diploma Requirements:
  • 60% average upon successful completion of all courses, including courses given a complete.

Students can expect to complete 1 – 3 hours of homework per day.

 

* Veterinary Assistant was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

Contact Us Today!

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Courses List

This 33 week Diploma program requires the student to complete the following courses.

  • Skills and strategies conducive to learning in a college atmosphere, orientation to the college environment, using technology, knowing college policies and procedures.
  • Time management, writing and using citations, study strategies, student budgeting, and wellness/self-care/stress management.
  • An orientation to the PCP program and the emergency medicine professions.
  • Prepare for upcoming studies, learning environments, and work experience placements throughout the program.

  • Interview techniques
  • Create a Career Development Marketing Plan
  • Apply aspects of professionalism
  • Identify target markets and employment resources
  • Specialty program coverage in this shortened version

  • Administrative functions for dispensing medication
  • Weights and measures
  • Drug administration theory
  • Reviewing common prescription instructions with clients

  • Communicating basic nutritional information to clients
  • Nutritional labels
  • Regulation, energy requirements, and caloric values of pet foods
  • Purina Nutrition Course

  • Recognize and identify common parasites
  • Parasite testing, diagnosis, and treatments

  • Concerns, principles, and categories of animal restraint
  • Handling techniques
  • Restraint for various procedures and types of animals

  • Animal breeds
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Grooming, travelling, exercise, and training
  • Adolescence, reproduction, senior pets, and euthanasia

  • Basic anatomy, physiology, and terminology of the major body systems

  • Symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatments of medical conditions
  • Responding to common client questions

  • Surgery and anesthesia procedures
  • Dental procedures
  • Hospitalized patient care
  • Exam room assistance
  • Laboratory, endoscopy, and radiology processes

  • Infectious diseases
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Aseptic technique

  • Professional and business aspects of an animal clinic
  • Communications
  • Public relations
  • Record keeping
  • Security and safety

• Integrate theory from the classroom into practice by working in a veterinary environment
• Four-week practicum (minimum of 25 hours per week)

  • Basic use of word processing and spreadsheet software using MS Word and MS Excel

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

Contact Us Today!

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

See All Success Stories
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