The Veterinary Administrative Assistant diploma program provides the opportunity for students to pursue a 6-week field placement for hands-on experience.
The Veterinary Administrative Assistant Diploma program will qualify graduates to pursue positions in veterinary clinics, animal care agencies, or positions in pet stores.
Employers Who Have Hired Eastern Grads
Hound Tales Inn
Annapolis Animal Hospital
Complete Care Hospital 4 Pets
Clayton Park Veterinary Hospital
*Employment Rate based on 2019 contactable Eastern graduates employed in a related field.
NOC Code: 6563,1411 - **Wage data based on NOC Code 6563 and rounded down to the nearest dollar, based on Nova Scotia data. Local (or regional) income may vary. Last updated in July, 2021.
Do you want to spend your day working with cats, dogs and other animals? The Veterinary Administrative Assistant program at Eastern College combine hands-on clinical experience with administrative support training to prepare you for a role in the world of veterinary care.
This hands-on program will train you with specialized skills in veterinary nursing, as will as receptionist skills. Learn medical terminology and how to properly care for animals, big or small.
Whether providing clinical assistance or handling client communication, graduates from these programs are essential to the operation of every veterinary clinic.
Course Listings: Nova Scotia
This module introduces fundamental bookkeeping principles and practices for small businesses. Students will study the accounting equation, account categories, the debit and credit system of bookkeeping, and correcting entries. Regular business transactions and adjusting journal entries are recorded, and the trial balance and basic financial statements are prepared.
Career Planning & Preparation - Level I
This module introduces tools for planning and preparing for a successful job search, so that students can maintain a career-focused approach throughout their education program. Students will learn about the "Hidden" Job Market and ways to access it in their upcoming job search, how to research opportunities and network for industry contacts, and use appropriate etiquette when communicating with prospective employers. Students will identify their personal skills, values and preferences for the workplace, begin preparation of a professional resume and references, and organize proof documents for their career portfolio. Class discussions on various self-management topics introduced in Student Success Strategies will round out this module, which is a pre-requisite for Career Planning and Preparation - Part II.
Career Planning & Preparation - Level II
This module continues to build on the concepts and skills introduced in Career Planning and Preparation - Part I. Students will learn how to conduct an effective job search and identify various methods of applying for work with today's technology. Students will create a personal list of "Top Employers" and target current industry opportunities, while finalizing their professional resume, portfolio and career correspondence. Students will learn to identify the different types and forms of interviews, practice responding to typical questions, and practice follow-up, evaluation and negotiation techniques they can use to ensure success. Self-management topics from Career Planning and Preparation - Part I will be reviewed, with a focus towards on-the-job success in both learner placements and post-graduate employment.
Digital Literacy for Professionals
This course has four units that introduces you to the fundamental concepts and principles of learning and working in a digital environment. The first unit introduces you to using devices and handling information with topics on operating systems (Windows, MAC, and Linux), computer organization (folder management and naming conventions), cloud storage (including Microsoft OneDrive), types of web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari), and fundamental troubleshooting. In the second unit, you will become familiar with creating and editing information through learning about file formats (pdf, mp4, docx), productivity (including iWork and Microsoft Office Suite) and creativity (Adobe, Canva, iMovie) platforms, and basic introduction to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The third unit on communicating and collaborating will introduce you to web conferencing applications (Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams), mail applications (including Microsoft Outlook and Gmail,), project management tools (Trello, Asana), and time management tools (including Todoist, Outlook Calendar, and iCal), and building rapport virtually. In the final unit, you will gain an understanding on netiquette, cybersecurity, and digital wellness. After completing this course, you will have enhanced digital literacy skills as a professional in the working and learning environment.
Field Placement - Veterinary Administrative Assistant
On successful completion of the classroom hours of this program, students will be placed on field placement at an outside organization. Students will have the opportunity to apply their newly developed knowledge and skills in a real-world environment.
Large Animal Medicine
This module is intended to introduce students to the different areas of large animal medicine. Students will learn sample handling, restraint, nursing and health problems associated with large animals. There will be various field trips to provide students with hands-on experience with these animals.
Pocket Pets & Exotics
This module is intended to introduce students to the different areas of pocket pets and exotic medicine. Students will learn sample handling, restraint, nursing and health problems associated with these animals.
Software Lab - Computer Fundamentals
Through a combination of theory and hands-on-practice, this module examines the role and use of the computer in today’s workplace. Emphasis is placed on those computers outfitted with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Students will review basic computer concepts, Windows OS usage, and complete hands-on training exercises in business-standard software applications, including Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word. Keyboarding skills are also honed via daily keyboarding exercises and drills
Software Lab - Word Processing
This software lab module consists of online training and assessment in Microsoft Word, and builds on the skills introduced in Computer Fundamentals. Students learn a comprehensive set of skills, with coverage including formatting text for layout and appearance, formatting document sections, using styles, working with header/footer content, inserting and formatting tables, graphics and pictures, working with templates and themes, using advanced editing features, and working with mailing tools.
Software Lab - Spreadsheets
This software lab module consists of online training and assessment in Microsoft Excel. Students learn a comprehensive set of skills, with coverage including creating, formatting and printing worksheets, creating simple and advanced formulas, using mathematical, logical, statistical and financial functions, creating and modifying charts and pivot tables, and using data tools.
Small Animal Breeds and Behaviour
This module will provide students with an understanding of purebred cats and dogs. Students will learn about organizations in Canada that are responsible for the development and preservation of these purebred animals. They will learn to identify breeds of cats and dogs and discuss their particular health care requirements. Students will gain a basic understanding of why behaviour problems occur with dogs and cats and explore topics including the human-animal bond, aggressive behaviour, fear and emotional reactions, sexual behaviour problems, maternal behaviour and feeding and related problems.
Small Animal Medicine for VAA
This module is designed to introduce students to the preventive health programs of small animal medicine. The veterinary administrative assistant plays an important role in educating and advising clients on vaccines, de-worming, and other aspects of preventing health problems in companion animals.
Small Animal Nursing for VAA
This module is intended to introduce students to the different areas of small animal nursing. It will give the students sufficient hands-on experience and practice in areas such as radiology, First Aid and restraint and handling. There will be a number of guest speakers, field trips to vet clinics and hospitals and many hands-on activities.
Small Animal Nutrition
This module is designed to introduce students to the nutritional needs of our companion animals. The veterinary administrative assistant plays an important role in educating and advising clients on their pet’s nutritionalrequirements and establishing an appropriate feeding plan for the pet’s needs.
Student Success Strategies
In this orientation module, emphasis is placed on thinking about achieving success from Day One. This module stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic, and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note-and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting SMART goals and maintaining a positive attitude; techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.
Medical Terminology for Veterinary Administrative Assistant
This module familiarizes students with basic medical terms and their proper pronunciations. How medical terms are derived, basic word structures, medical word building using roots, prefixes and suffixes are all discussed and practiced. Many of these terms are used in the animal care field and it is important for employees of veterinary clinics to have a working understanding of these terms.
Veterinary Office Procedures
Upon completion of this module, students will have been introduced to the practical skills necessary to function as an entry-level veterinary administrative assistant. Students will understand the purpose of, and be able to perform, standard veterinary office administrative duties, such as maintaining patient and client records, appointment scheduling, insurance processing, etc. Students will be able to employ medical terminology as it applies to the veterinary practice setting. Students will gain a basic understanding of veterinary office-management software functions and applications.
High school graduation or equivalent. For those without high school completion, please refer to the Program Overview at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant; plus a passing score in the academic achievement test.
Take a quick and easy quiz to find out more about yourself, your goals, and identify your strengths and social style. This quiz gives you suggestions for what career areas you might consider based on your likes and preferences. Give it a try now!