The Veterinary Assistant certificate program at Pima Medical Institute takes approximately nine months to complete. The program curriculum provides students with the education they need for entry-level employment in animal care and is a blend of classroom training and hands-on experience in the lab. Students will sometimes get to work with live animals from the nonprofit and rescue organizations that partner with Pima Medical.
The basic courses you’ll need to take before you begin your externship, known as the Career Prep courses, include Anatomy, Physiology and Terminology, Computer Basics, Study Skills, Math Fundamentals and CPR and First Aid. These courses prepare you for the essential job functions of the workplace as well as your professional sequences you’ll take throughout the program.
In Professional Sequence I, the courses you will take include Comparative Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology and Clinical Lab Procedures and Pathology. You will learn the anatomy of many different types of animals along with the biology that deals with the normal functions and parts of those animals. In the lab, you will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with collecting and preparing lab samples, basic medical procedures and more.
In Professional Sequence II, Animal Life Stages, Nutrition and Husbandry and Animal Nursing and Diagnostic Medical Imaging are the block of courses you’ll take as a veterinary assistant student. You will learn how to recognize animal behavior norms, assist with small animal nursing and diagnostic imaging along with how to educate and communicate with clients.
In Professional Sequence III, the courses you’ll take include Offices Procedures, Pharmacology and Principles of Anesthesia and Aseptic Technique and Surgical Assisting. During this final sequence, you’ll learn how to administer medications, assist with surgery, provide pre- and post- operative care, keep medical records, understand pharmacology basics and sterilize lab and surgical equipment.
Once you’ve completed all your sequences and Career Prep courses, you will be placed at an externship site by our career services team. You need to complete 240 clinical hours in order to graduate and be prepared to enter the workforce with the confidence you need to help animals.
Do you want to get started toward at career in veterinary medicine? If so, our Veterinary Assistant certification program is a great first step to get you started in animal care. The program only takes nine months to complete, getting you working in the field quickly.