Mars Petcare Career Pathways

Job Information

VCA Animal Hospitals Veterinary Assistant in Colonial Heights, Virginia

Job Summary:

Assist doctor and other hospital staff by care and cleaning of patients and facilities including completing patient treatments, assisting in surgery and all other animal care functions as well as other tasks involved in the operations of a veterinary hospital.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

• Previous experience or training/education working in a veterinary facility preferred.

• Must be friendly, outgoing, “people oriented.”

• Excellent communications skills.

• Must be capable of being cross-trained for front office receptionist duties that will be expected in the job.

• Telephone and computer skills are necessary.

• Must be a team player willing to learn new techniques and treatments and to accept change.

Education and Experience:

• High School Diploma.

Physical Requirements:

• Dependable attendance is required.

• Any allergies to animals must be controllable through medication.

• Must be able to lift 40 pounds.

• Must be willing to work long or irregular hours under pressure conditions.

• This position requires the ability to walk, bend, stand and reach constantly during a minimum 8-hour day.

• Visual acuity sufficient to maintain accurate records, recognize people and understand written directions.

• Ability to speak and hear sufficiently to understand, give information in person and over the telephone.

• Fine motor skills adequate for utilizing hospital equipment such as electric clippers, syringes, radiology equipment, laboratory equipment, computers, etc.


The following is a list of essential job requirements. This list may be revised at any time and additional duties not listed here may be assigned as needed. Job functions and job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Veterinary Assistant Job Description

  1. Client Relations

  2. Nursing Care

  3. Housekeeping/Maintenance

  4. Examinations/Assessments

  5. Record Keeping

  6. Anesthesia

  7. Surgery

  8. Radiology

  9. Dentistry

  10. Laboratory

  11. Pharmacy

  12. Marketing

Client Relations:

• Agree to incorporate the principles of the VCA Mission Statement, Three Steps of Service and VCA Standards of Client Service in their daily job performance.

• Demonstrate excellent relations with clients/pets in waiting and/or exam rooms:

  • Assist receptionists with client/patient checking in and checking out of hospital.

  • Ensure that clients and pets feel welcome and comfortable.

  • Service as “Ambassadors” of creating and maintaining goodwill for the hospital.

  • Build rapport with clients and pets.

  • Greet clients and pets by name.

  • Help new clients completely fill out the registration form. Inform new clients

about the hospital’s services, etc.

  • Exceed the client’s expectations of service.

  • If there is a delay, keep clients informed of expected waiting time.

  • Must support reception staff by providing telephone support to ensure that

clients’ calls and requests are being processed in a timely manner.

  • Provide support to reception staff in appointment scheduling.

  • Ability to effectively communicate and educate clients on general animal

husbandry and answer non-medical questions:

  • General dietary requirements and feeding schedules.

  • Vaccines.

  • Basic dietary recommendations.

  • Dental care instructions.

  • Routine laboratory tests, i.e. fecals, heartworm, leukemia, etc.

  • Housebreaking techniques.

  • General flea and tick control.

Nursing Care:

• Compassionate nursing care is the top priority for all patients.

• Make certain all patients are kept clean and as comfortable as possible.

• Assist in treating hospitalized animals under veterinary supervision.

• Continuously monitor all patients admitted to the hospital.

• Ensure all patients are clearly identified including entry on hospital day sheet, cage card, and ID collar.

• Assist veterinarians to direct traffic (patients and care) and leverage staff time.

• Efficiently organize daily duties and medical-surgical procedures to best utilize staff’s time.

• Participate in client communication and education, explaining administration of medications, follow-up care, diet recommendations and general animal care.

• Flexibility in working hours is required to ensure that the job is done properly.

Housekeeping and Maintenance of Hospital:

• Make certain entire hospital both inside and outside, including treatment, surgery, kennels, runs, parking lot and entry is kept extremely clean throughout the day (so that a client could come back and see their pet without any notice). This includes your own clothing and appearance.

• Advise Medical Director or Technical Supervisor of any conditions that are unsafe, including unrecognized hazards or infractions of safety rules.


• Ability to perform a cursory examination of an animal.

• Ability to use a stethoscope and otoscope.

• Ability to recognize fleas, ticks and other external parasites.

• Ability to recognize other potential health care issues, i.e., dental or exam by a


• Clearly communicate your findings to doctor. Refuse to make a diagnosis.


• Keep records up to date. This includes client records with charges, medical history, vaccine status, medications administered, laboratory reports, etc.

• Maintain all log books (radiology, surgery, anesthesia, laboratory and controlled substance logs).

• Handwriting must be neat and legible.


• Understand how to maintain and use our inhalation anesthetic machines.

• Administer certain anesthetics under direct doctor supervision.

• Monitor anesthesia under direct doctor supervision.

• Familiarity with procedures and antidotes for an anesthesia emergency.


• Understand how to prep animals for aseptic surgery.

• Understand aseptic technique in the surgery room and participate in maintaining sterile


• Know the names and general uses of surgical instruments and equipment.

• Maintain and sterilize surgical instruments and packs.

• Be willing and able to assist the doctor with certain surgical procedures.

If you are a current associate, you will need to apply through our internal career site. Please log into Workday and click on the Jobs Hub app or search for Browse Jobs.

Benefits: We offer competitive compensation along with a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision and paid vacation/sick days, 401(k), generous employee pet discounts and more!

The information in this position description indicates the general nature and level of work to be performed. It is not designed to be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of associates assigned to this job. Management reserves the right to revise the job description or require that other tasks be performed when the circumstances of the job change (for example, emergencies, change in personnel, workload, or technical development)

We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer - Veterans / Disabled. For a complete EEO statement please see our career page at