Veterinary Assistant Job at The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital, Oakland, CA

  • The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital
  • Oakland, CA

Job Description


Veterinary Assistant

REPORTS TO: Lead Veterinary Assistant, Head RVT, Team Development Manager, Assistant Manager, Hospital Administrator, or Owner(s)


The Veterinary Assistant moves patients and clients through the hospital to receive the care they need. They assist in restraining pets and set up for the examination procedure. They aid the DVMs by preparing appointments, communicating with, and educating clients. They aid the technicians in achieving greater efficiency by relieving them of some of the routine work.

Veterinary Assistants are also cross-trained as kennel staff members and are responsible for proper husbandry care of all hospitalized and boarded animals, including feeding, bathing, record keeping and the cleanliness of cages, runs and ward areas. In addition, the kennel staff also is responsible for the cleanliness of the hospital.

Salary Range: $18 - $20 per hour depending upon experience


High school diploma or equivalent.
Customer Service background desirable but not required.
Typing skills required.
Some computer knowledge required; comfortable with Word, keyboarding, and use of communication tools such as email.


Previous animal care background is desirable, but not required


The veterinary assistant must be able to:

  • Minimum of 18 years old.
  • Genuinely enjoys working with animals and is able to deal with them even when stressed, ill or in pain.
  • Can stay calm and efficient during a medical crisis.
  • Is well-spoken and approaches his/her job duties in a mature nature.
  • Can support and be a part of a team.
  • Works well with all levels of hospital staff.
  • Has excellent communication skills.

Physical Effort: Work requires lifting, carrying and restraining animals (will be assisted by other staff members in lifting animals over 40 lbs). Walks or stands for extended periods or time; frequently works in a bent or squatting position.

Working conditions: May be exposed to unpleasant odors, noises and animal feces. May be exposed to bites, scratches and contagious diseases.


  • Conducts oneself in a positive, confident and professional manner at all times.
  • Maintains positive, cooperative relationships with other employees.
  • Knows all common vaccines, understands basic vaccination protocol, heartworm testing and preventatives and flea/tick control options and can explain to clients.
  • Keeps accurate medical records in accordance with hospital policy, including weights, microchips, and medical histories.
  • Understands the importance of a clean and orderly facility, and promptly cleans and organizes as part of a normal job duty.
  • Prepares and maintains the exam rooms and treatment areas. Ensures exam rooms are clean, sanitized, and thoroughly stocked.
  • Safely and effectively restrains cats and dogs even when large or difficult.
  • Guides clients and patients to exam rooms, creating a connection with clients, and maintaining client communication.
  • Supports DVM, RVT, and Tech Assistants during examination and treatment of patients.
  • Reviews the days schedule prior to the start of the business day to evaluate for any challenging patients or situations - coughing or potentially infectious patients (potential ringworm if skin lesions in kittens, acutely ill animals, etc), aggressive animals to contain in the carrier, clients with special needs, etc to create a game plan for the day.
  • Collects brief information on the presenting complaint, completing the medical record above the SOAP.
  • Contacts other facilities to obtain complete patient medical records. Summarizes records and updates vaccination data in accordance with hospital policy.
  • Communicates regularly with clients if the DVM is running late (every 10 minutes), and approaches manager if assistance is needed.
  • Keeps DVM moving through schedule efficiently, communicating patient signalment and presenting complaint and directing DVM to location of next patient.
  • May be asked by DVM to present estimates to clients (after receiving training and permission from hospital manager in methods of presenting estimates). If client has any financial concerns with paying for visit in full at the time of the exam or when picking up the patient, the client needs to remain in the exam room and the VA should address the doctor for a modification of the treatment plan or a discussion of financial matters with alternate personnel (manager, managing DVM).
  • Properly cleans, cares for, and sterilizes all instruments, surgical materials and equipment.
  • Performs or prepares clinical laboratory procedures such as heartworm tests, skin scrapings, urinalysis, ear cytology and fungal cultures. Maintains file of lab test results and ensures that test results are recorded in patient records in accordance with hospital policy.
  • Stains and prepares slides for microscopic analysis.
  • Assists with running in-house laboratory equipment. Prepares and packages samples to be sent to the outside laboratories.
  • When not involved in their primary role of assisting doctors and clients in the exam room, the veterinary assistant may be asked under the direction of the RVT or the TA to assist with or perform set up for procedures, and radiographs.
  • Performs anal gland expressions and nail trims.
  • Understands the use and care of IV pumps.
  • May perform physical assessments.
  • Performs other duties as assigned including assisting in other areas such as kennel.
  • Genuinely enjoys working with animals and is able to deal with them even when they are stressed, ill, or in pain.
  • Works unaffected in an environment where dogs are barking.
  • Must be available to work weekends and holidays to be considered for a kennel assistant position. • Provides compassionate care to patients.
  • Conducts oneself in a confident and professional manner even when stressed and/or focused on individual tasks.
  • Receives animals to be admitted, is responsible for their proper identification and for recording their respective locations and belongings.
  • Releases animals to their owners as directed by the doctor; ensures that every animal released is clean and properly groomed prior to their release.
  • Has the ability to communicate with owners and make them feel comfortable with leaving their pet(s) in our care.
  • Follows a regular schedule for cleaning and sanitizing all cages, runs, wards and related areas; changes litter boxes and food/water bowls.
  • Feeds each animal as prescribed by the attending doctor or as the owner has requested and records appetites.
  • Understands the importance of prioritizing tasks and keeping oneself busy and productive during work shifts.
  • Maintains laundry for the kennel, grooming, and hospital.
  • Maintains the grounds of the property including waste disposal, light maintenance of landscape upkeep and general building maintenance.
  • Gives baths and brushes out patients.
  • Collects urine and fecal specimens.
  • Recognizes and reports any unusual condition or abnormal behavior to the boarding supervisor or attending DVM.
  • Assists doctors and technicians with the administration of medications or with patient restraint.
  • Cleans equipment and facilities using chemicals and supplies; understands the importance of safety of use of chemicals in our facility.
  • Maintains the cleanliness of the hospital each day according to the appropriate Kennel Assistant checklist.
  • Understands and carries out the weekly and monthly chore list to maintain the hospital cleanliness, the equipment, and overall appearance of the hospital.
  • Understands and carries out oral and written directions.


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Job Tags

Hourly pay, Holiday work, Full time, Shift work, Weekend work,

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