Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 2
Hours: 24 lecture per quarter (24 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Per California Code of Regulations, this course is limited to students admitted to the Advanced Veterinary Assisting Apprenticeship Program.
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in V T 60.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Principles and practice of veterinary office management for veterinary nursing students. Client relations, telephone techniques, interpersonal skills, and team dynamics. Generation and maintenance of correspondence, medical records, legal forms, and hospital logs. Professional ethics and legal boundaries of the veterinary health care team. Facility management utilizing traditional and electronic media and appropriate veterinary medical terminology and abbreviations. Resume writing and interviewing techniques. Principles of inventory control. Use of practice management software. State and federal laws as they apply to the veterinary practice.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Discuss how to schedule appointments, admit, discharge and triage according to client, patient, and facility needs through phone and personal contact.
B. Develop and provide client education in a clear and accurate manner at a level the client understands.
C. Create a resume and practice job interviewing skills.
D. List, describe and maintain all appropriate facility records and logs in compliance with regulatory guidelines.
E. Practice proper interpersonal and telephone communication skills and demonstrate ability to maintain appropriate interpersonal and client relations.
F. Demonstrate skill in using practice management software for medical record keeping and practice management.
G. Describe methods involved in inventory management.
H. Describe and demonstrate professionalism and identify ethical issues in relation to technician-veterinarian, technician-client, and technician-patient relationships.
I. Describe the results of stress and the potential for substance abuse by veterinary medical personnel, discuss prevention strategies and identify indications for intervention.
J. Define various forms of workplace bullying, including sexual harassment and describe the process of addressing this issue in the workplace.

Course Content

A. Roles and responsibility as veterinary receptionist
1. Appointment scheduling based on client, patient, and facility needs
2. Interpersonal and telephone communication techniques
3. Admitting patients
4. Patient discharge procedures
5. Principles of telephone triage
B. Client education
1. Communication styles
2. Proper use of medical terminology
3. Methods of client education
a. Written
b. Verbal
c. Other means of communication
C. Job acquisition skills
1. Resume writing
2. Interviewing techniques
D. Regulatory guideline compliance
1. Legal restrictions and legal liability
2. Common hospital logs
a. Radiography
b. Surgery
c. Anesthesia
d. Laboratory
e. Controlled substance
3. Legal forms and certificates
4. Record keeping and filing
E. Interpersonal communication skills
1. Principles of personnel management, and skills and personal characteristics of good managers
2. Procedures for hiring and firing employees: job descriptions, interviews, evaluations
3. Motivating employees
4. Employee rights and responsibilities
5. Teamwork
F. Medical record keeping
1. Legal aspects
2. Application of problem oriented veterinary medical record
3. Veterinary practice management software
G. Inventory control
1. Techniques and theories of inventory control
2. Managing inventory
H. Professionalism and ethical issues in interpersonal relationships
1. Technician-veterinarian
2. Technician-client
3. Technician-patient
4. Technician-technician and/or veterinary assistant
I. Stress in the veterinary office
1. Role of stress
2. Substance abuse
3. Prevention strategies
4. Self care
5. Intervention
J. Office problems
1. Bullying
2. Sexual harassment
3. Injuries and worker's compensation

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Classroom with multimedia projection. Veterinary practice software loaded onto computer(s) for student use.

Method(s) of Evaluation

The student will demonstrate proficiency by some or all of the following:
A. Written quizzes and a written final examination
B. Written report of interview conducted with a veterinary hospital manager
C. Client education project
D. Project using practice management software

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Oral presentations
D. Collaborative exercises

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bassert, Joanna M. Clinical Textbook For Veterinary Technicians. 9th ed. W. B. Saunders Co., 2017.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

Assignments may include some or all of the following:

A. Reading assignments: Weekly reading assignments from text, class handouts, and outside sources ranging from 30 to 60 pages per week.

B. Five-page written research paper and oral presentation on a client education topic.

C. Written short answer essay questions.

D. Reflection paper on personal strengths and weaknesses as it relates to job performance.

E. Project demonstrating proficiency in using practice management software.



Registered Veterinary Technician