Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 2.5
Hours: 7.5 laboratory per week (90 total per quarter)
This is a clinical laboratory course.
Prerequisite: V T 52A and 52B.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Relate their personal practical clinical experience with the associated knowledge from the related didactic portion of the course.
  • Acquire experience and demonstrate entry-level competence in essential tasks commonly delegated to the Veterinary Assistant. Complete a checklist of Essential Tasks for the Veterinary Assistant.


Formal, structured off-campus clinical experience in licensed veterinary facilities, which serve as a means of instructing the student in practical, hands-on, clinical skills in all aspects of veterinary assisting as specified by the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators. The student is under the direct supervision of one or more licensed veterinarians and/or credentialed veterinary technicians. The site of the preceptorship is approved by the Veterinary Technology Program, in consultation with the student and the veterinary professionals. Opportunity for learning and practical application of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of a veterinary assistant. Exposure to varied methodologies and practice philosophies in a variety of clinical settings. Emphasis is on the role of the veterinary assistant in the veterinary health care team.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Perform proper office and hospital procedures and client relations
B. Perform proper pharmacy and pharmacology procedures
C. Perform proper examination and treatment room procedures
D. Perform proper surgical preparation and assisting
E. Perform proper animal medical and surgical nursing
F. Perform proper clinical laboratory procedures
G. Assist in radiology and ultrasound imaging
H. Perform proper laboratory animal procedures, and avian and exotic animal procedures (where available)
I. Perform proper hospital maintenance
J. Perform proper workplace safety

Course Content

The student will receive structured clinical skills instruction by licensed veterinarians and/or credentialed veterinary technicians in a private veterinary practice or research site. The preceptor site supervisor is provided with the Essential Tasks for Veterinary Assistants as specified by the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators Committee and program-specific competency checklists as guidelines for the accomplishment of clinical skills performance objectives. Emphasis will be on skill development and hands-on experience in the following areas:
A. Office and Hospital Procedures and Client Relations
1. Describe the role of the veterinary assistant in the veterinary health care team
2. Demonstrate all aspects of a good work ethic
3. Recognize and describe appropriate standards of practice in a veterinary facility
4. Keep written records of skills performance and create written progress reports
5. Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication using proper medical vocabulary
6. Integrate effectively into the veterinary health care team
7. Apply theory and principle to the practical clinical setting
B. Pharmacy and Pharmacology
1. Basic medical calculations
2. Basic understanding of common veterinary medications
C. Examination and Treatment Room Procedures
1. "Rooming" patients
2. Obtaining patient data from clients
3. Obtaining patient data, including vital
D. Surgical Preparation and Assisting
1. Cleaning and autoclaving surgical instruments
2. Assisting in patient preparation for surgical procedures
3. Assisting in anesthesia
E. Animal Medical and Surgical Nursing
1. Administering medication
2. Assisting in patient nursing care
F. Clinical Laboratory Procedures
1. Assisting in obtaining samples, including for in-house and outside lab evaluations
G. Assisting in Radiology and Ultrasound Imaging
1. Assisting with positioning
2. Understanding radiology safety
H. Laboratory Animal Procedures; Avian and Exotic Animal Procedures (where available)
1. Assisting in obtaining samples including for in-house and outside lab evaluations
I. Hospital Maintenance
1. Cleaning kennels and all human and animal facilities
2. Assisting in maintenance of laboratory equipment, instruments and hospital equipment
J. Workplace Safety
1. Proper restraint and animal handling
2. Proper handling of equipment and samples
3. Proper lifting techniques
4. Understanding of OSHA laws and regulations

Lab Content

A. Clinical preceptorship in a veterinary facility under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or veterinary technician.
B. Practice clinical skills under direct supervision and complete a set of clinical skills competency checklists and projects.
C. Verbal and written evaluations by the clinical supervisor.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Proper clinical attire, name tag; additional items as required by individual sites.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Completion of a set of clinical skills competency checklists and written evaluation by a licensed veterinarian or veterinary technician

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Internship/preceptorship

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Pattengale, Paula. Tasks for the Veterinary Assistant. 3rd ed. Wiley, John and Sons, Inc., 2014.

Romich, Janet A. An Illustrated Guide to Veterinary Medical Terminology. 4th ed. Cengage Learning, 2014.

Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.


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

A. Weekly reading assignments from online modules, text, internet resources, and other outside sources, ranging from 30-60 pages per week.

B. Written assignments, participation in online forum discussions.



Registered Veterinary Technician