Project Description

Becoming an Animal Nursing Assistant

Animal Nursing Assistants play a vital support role within veterinary practices and veterinary hospitals. They work alongside the veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses as an important part of the team, providing high standards of care for their patients.

What does the role entail?

Speak to any Animal Nursing Assistant and they will tell you that no two days are the same! As part of the role, you may be involved in:

  • Monitoring and providing essential inpatient care such as taking temperatures, monitoring pulse and respiratory readings, observing behaviour and assisting with changing dressings.

  • Exercising, grooming and feeding inpatients as well as spending time with animals, ensuring their comfort.

  • Assisting with preparing theatre and relevant equipment.

  • Cleaning and preparing accommodation for animals.

  • Restraining animals for examination and procedures such as placing of IV catheters, taking bloods and ultrasound scanning.

  • Running blood and urine samples in the lab.

  • Administering topical and oral medication.

Qualifications and training

It is possible to study for a qualification whilst working as an Animal Nursing Assistant.

The City & Guilds level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants is a distance learning course which is undertaken alongside employment, or voluntary work, in a veterinary practice. The syllabus covers a wide range of small animal and exotic species, and gives a broad knowledge in the fundaments of veterinary practice.

In addition to the academic theory you will gain from online study, an emphasis on practical experience (a minimum of 600 hours) in a veterinary practice means that you will gain the skills and knowledge needed to prepare you for a career in the veterinary care profession.

Further progression

Many Animal Nursing Assistants go on to train as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. For more information about routes into veterinary nursing training, visit our page here

Alternatively, take a read of the BVNA’s career pathways leaflet for more information.

Charter's Animal Nursing Assistant Evie says:

“ANAs are extremely beneficial to practises because extra time and care can be allowed for each and every animal that comes under our care.

Having been an Animal Nursing Assistant for the past year has confirmed that veterinary nursing is definitely the career path I want to follow, and I am looking forward to soon progressing to a Student Veterinary Nurse (SVN) position where I will further my education and take on extra responsibilities enabling me to further contribute to the care and treatment of animals, and provide care to their owners in a helpful and empathetic manner.”