Veterinary Assisting

  • Doggie Day Care at KTHS


    Vanessa Forbes LVT - Instructor

    Mrs. Forbes has over 25 years of experience working in the veterinary field and nine years
    of experience as a veterinary educator and administrator. She holds certification as a
    Licensed Veterinary Technologist and degrees in Animal Health Science (BS), Online and
    Distance Learning (MSEd), and Education Specialist Certification in Teaching and Learning
    (EdS). Awards include Distinguished Faculty Award through DeVry Education Group and
    New Teacher of the Year through the Alaska Association for Career and Technical Education.
    She says, “I am a life-long learner and work to promote the veterinary field and share my
    passion for the field with students.”

    Grade level 11-12. Entrance into the program requires a “C” or better in 2 semesters of
    Biology I. Progression through the program requires teacher recommendation, a “B” or
    better in all courses, 90% or better in professionalism, and successful completion of all
    NAVTA required skills.

    Why take this course?

    ● Use the same equipment as industry professionals to examine and treat animals
    ● Develop valuable critical thinking skills that serve in evaluating patients and assessing
    ● Work with animals daily to develop confidence and hands on skills
    ● Earn industry certifications to prepare for immediate employment and further
    ● Participate in community service and compete against other schools in leadership,
    teamwork, and veterinary science competitions

    Veterinary Assisting is a rigorous program that consists of three courses designed to train
    students for a career as an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) as well as prepare them
    for further education in the field of veterinary medicine. Topics include: hospital
    management, career exploration, animal management, terminology, diseases and
    preventive medicine, pharmacy practices, and small animal nursing.

    Advanced students will continue their study of veterinary medicine and develop a deeper
    understanding of body systems, nursing techniques, lab techniques, surgical assisting,
    diagnostic procedures and specialty medicine.

    The NAVTA approved Veterinary Assisting program requires the completion of both the
    Veterinary Assisting and Advanced Veterinary Assisting courses, a 100-hr Clinical Rotation
    and membership in Future Farmers of America (FFA). FFA is the premier youth organization
    preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.

    As an exploratory, students may take the introductory course.Veterinary Science

    Classes require both academic and physical participation. Students must be able to bend
    and to pick up a minimum of 40 lbs. Students will be exposed to several animal species
    which are required to meet the competencies set forth by NAVTA and are needed to work
    as a Veterinary Assistant. The program utilizes dogs in class regularly to facilitate clinical
    training for development of essential skills. Students will learn medical and surgical nursing
    skills, explore animal related professions, and educational requirements for veterinary

    Students demonstrate competency through written exams, performance of NAVTA skills,
    professionalism, and comprehensive case studies. Teamwork and participation are essential
    components of success in this program with students working daily in groups. Excellent
    attendance and punctuality are critical for student success, completion of hands on skills, and
    the care of program animals.

    Students also will manage in a canine daycare and grooming program that is open for
    enrollment on a limited basis.

    Veterinary Assisting 0.5 Life Science 0.5 Math 0.5 Elective

    Advanced Veterinary Assisting 0.5 Life Science 1.0 Elective

    Clinical Practices in Veterinary Science 0.5 Elective


    ProTrainings Animal CPR/First Aid certification

    Fear Free Certified Professional certification

    NAVTA Approved Veterinary Assistant certification



     Veterinary Assisting career tree