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.
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.