2015 – 2016 Florida Department of Education Curriculum Framework



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Florida Department of Education

Student Performance Standards




Program Title: Veterinary Assisting

PSAV Number: A010512



Benchmarks that appear in bold within the framework are skills or competencies that have been taken directly from the FVMA Skills Competency Validation list. The most up to date validation list can be found on the FVMA website.

Course Number: ATE0006

Occupational Completion Point: A


Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers 1– 450 Hours – SOC Code 31-9096

  1. Describe veterinary science and the role of animals in society – the students will be able to:

    1. Define veterinary science.

    1. Identify key components in the domestication of animals.

    1. Choose current issues facing the animal industry today and describe the effect of each on society.

  1. Describe the socioeconomic role of veterinary sciences on the companion animal and livestock industries – the students will be able to:

    1. Summarize the history of the veterinary sciences, companion animal and livestock industry.

    1. Assess the impact of companion animals on the veterinary science industry.

    1. Discuss the role of the animal industry in the interaction of population, food, energy, and the environment.

  1. Discuss the human-animal bond and its effects on human health – the students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate appropriate understanding and respect for the human-animal bond and its influence on veterinary care.

    1. Explain the different types of human-animal bonds, how they vary between clients and how to interact with each type of client and their animal.

    1. Explain the different types of human-animal bonds for companion animals versus working animals and livestock.

    1. Discuss the positive health effects on people resulting from their interaction with animals.

    1. Discuss programs that use human-animal interaction as a therapy tool.

    1. Describe the characteristics of animals used in the animal-facilitated therapy programs.

    1. Describe national and local programs that use animal-facilitated therapy.

    1. Discuss grief-response and emotional impact of animal loss.

  1. Demonstrate the proper use of veterinary science terminology – the students will be able to:

    1. Define common veterinary and medical terms.

    1. Compile a list of prefixes, suffixes, and root words for veterinary medical terminology.

    1. Categorize gender and species-related terminology.

    1. List common medical and veterinary abbreviations

    1. Illustrate terms lateral, medial, dorsal, ventral, sterna, rostral, and caudal

  1. Identify careers in the animal industry – the students will be able to:

    1. Compile a list of major animal-industry careers.

    1. Describe training requirements for entry and advancement in animal-industry careers.

    1. Identify professional organizations and trade journals in the animal industry.

    1. Investigate career opportunities in the veterinary science, companion animal, and large animal industry; also identify educational experiences needed to prepare for those careers.

    1. Using Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) as a reference, distinguish between a Veterinary Assistant, Certified Veterinary Assistant, Veterinary Technician, Certified Veterinary Technician, and Veterinary Technologist.

    1. Investigate requirements necessary for recertification.

  1. Practice safety – the students will be able to:

    1. Recognize and avoid potential safety hazards (physical, chemical, biological and zoonotic).

    1. Utilize proper safety precautions and procedures when working in the hospital (laboratory, kennel, surgery/prep area, treatment, and exam room).

    1. Demonstrate knowledge on how to use personal protective equipment- PPE (wears gloves, goggles, face mask, ear plugs, apron, gown, cap, and shoe covers when needed).

    1. Locate and demonstrates use of an eye wash solution or station.

    1. Locate first aid kit and fire extinguisher.

    1. Explain emergency procedures, locates emergency contact phone numbers and veterinary hospital safety plans for emergency situations such as fire, severe weather, evacuations, etc.

    1. Explain OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) and its regulations pertaining to a veterinary practice, including sanitation, safety of employees and the employee’s right to know of potential work place hazards through MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) and the written hazard communication plan.

    1. Demonstrate knowledge of OSHA regulations regarding the handling, placement and disposition of sharps and bio-hazardous material.

    1. Handle and uses disposable “sharps” containers in a safe manner.

    1. Explain correct labeling of secondary containers with appropriate safety information.

    1. Recognize allergic reactions and toxicity.

    1. Control minor hemorrhage and/or trauma.

    1. Discuss the proper procedures of basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    1. List the most common causes of animal related accidents.

    1. Practice safety precautions around animals.

    1. Discuss the impact of unsafe procedures.

  1. Recognize normal and abnormal animal behaviors – the students will be able to:

    1. Distinguish between instinctive and learned behaviors.

    1. Recognize normal and abnormal behavioral characteristics of animals through observations.

    1. Recognize signs of aggressive animal behaviors.

    1. Identify behavioral problems.

    1. Describe behavioral changes due to aging.

  1. Restrain and control companion and livestock animals – the students will be able to:

    1. Trainee demonstrates knowledge of the proper method for placing large animals in a stall, paddock, and trailer.

    1. Safely handle and restrain dogs, cats, and other animals for exams, procedures, and treatment by currently accepted standards to prevent undue stress or harm to either animals or humans.

    1. Demonstrate verbal and physical restraint of animals.

    1. Demonstrate how to match appropriate level of restraint for an individual animal’s level of resistance and situation.

    1. Demonstrate the proper method for placing a lead on a dog -slip lead and standard leash.

    1. Utilize currently accepted standards for lifting, positioning, and restraining animals.

    1. Demonstrate positioning an animal in sternal, dorsal, and lateral recumbency.

    1. Demonstrate restraint of a small dog on an exam table.

    1. Demonstrate restraint of a cat on an exam table.

    1. Demonstrate restraint of a large dog on an exam table, lift table, and on the floor.

    1. Explain appropriate methods for placing and removing animals from kennels.

    1. Identify the following venipuncture sites and accepted restraint for each; cephalic vein (cat & dog), jugular vein (cat & dog), femoral vein (cat), saphenous vein (dog).

    1. Demonstrate use of restraint muzzle on a dog using commercial, leash, catch/restraint pole and gauze muzzles of appropriate size.

    1. Demonstrate currently accepted standards for restraint of the cat including towels, scruff technique, commercial muzzles, cat bags, pillow cases, leather gloves, and the squeeze cage.

    1. Explain commonly accepted standards of restraint for exotic and avian.

    1. Identify the appropriate restraining methods for the following:

    1. Discuss chemical restraints of animals.

  1. Identify common breeds of companion animals – the students will be able to:

    1. Identify canine breeds and list breed characteristics.

    1. Identify feline breeds and list breed characteristics.

    1. Identify breeds of rabbits and list their primary use.

  1. Investigate the common husbandry practices and daily care of several species of animals – the students will be able to:

    1. Describe husbandry and care of canine breeds.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of feline breeds.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of rabbits.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of rodents.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of bovine.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of ovine.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of caprine.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of porcine.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of equine.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of poultry.

    1. Demonstrate knowledge of basic pet care for puppies/kittens; including advice on house-breaking or litter box use, puppy/kitten-proofing the house, health care, vaccination schedules, intestinal parasite prevention, flea and tick control, feeding, training, and spaying/neutering.

    1. Explain common diseases of the canine and feline and current recommendations for disease prevention.

    1. List benefits of spaying and neutering pets including health benefits as well as population control.

  1. Demonstrate basic first aid for companion and livestock animals – the students will be able to:

    1. Recognize emergency health (physical and behavioral) status.

    1. Describe procedures to restrain and move injured animals.

    1. Demonstrate hemorrhage control.

    1. Dress wounds and punctures.

    1. Demonstrate the correct emergency procedures for shock, burns, heatstroke, and fractures.

    1. Describe and access up-to-date information on animal health.

    1. Demonstrate animal CPR.

  1. Demonstrate the use of tools, equipment, and instruments in the veterinary science and companion animal industry – the students will be able to:

    1. Identify and select the proper tools, equipment, and instruments for a specific job.

    1. Describe the principles of selected mechanical applications as it relates to large animal restraint equipment (e.g., levers, pulleys, hydraulics).

    1. Demonstrate the ability to use an equipment or instrument manual.

    1. Demonstrate the use of selected tools, equipment, and instruments.

    1. Service, maintain, and store tools, equipment, instruments, and supplies.

    1. Demonstrate the proper placement of a slide in the microscope and focus on 100X and 400X magnification.

    1. Explain appropriate materials for cleaning the microscope.

    1. Demonstrate the centrifugation of a sample.

    1. Explain the purpose of the blood analyzer machine.

  1. Demonstrate proper techniques in taking vital signs – the student will be able to:

    1. Obtain and record the TPR (temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate) with minimal discomfort to pet.

    1. Demonstrate how to use, clean, and store thermometers.

    1. Appropriately identify and record the MM (mucus membrane color).

    1. Appropriately obtain and record the CRT (capillary refill time).

    1. Identify normal and abnormal range for each parameter (TPR, MM, and CRT).

  1. Identify common breeds of livestock animals – the students will be able to:

    1. Identify bovine breed and their characteristics.

    1. Identify ovine breed and their characteristics.

    1. Identify caprine breed and their characteristics.

    1. Identify porcine breed and their characteristics.

    1. Identify equine breed and their characteristics.

    1. Identify poultry breed and their characteristics.

  1. Identify parts and functions of various systems of selected animals – the students will be able to:

    1. Identify internal and external anatomy of selected animals.

    1. Identify parts of the skeletal system of selected animals.

    1. Compare the human skeletal system to that of other animals.

    1. Identify parts and functions of the following systems of animals using correct terminology:

      1. Identify the general function of the respiratory system and the major organs.

      1. Identify the general function of the skeletal system and the major bones of the axial and appendicular skeleton.

      1. Identify the general function of the muscular system and major groups of muscles.

      1. Identify the general function of the digestive system and the major organs.

      1. Identify the general function of the cardiovascular system and the major organs.

      1. Identify the general function of the respiratory system and the major organs.

      1. Identify the general function of the endocrine and the major organs.

      1. Identify the general function of the urinary system and the major organs.

      1. Identify the general function of the reproductive system and both male and female organs.

      1. Identify the general function of the nervous system and the major organs.

      1. Identify the general function of the integumentary system and the major organs.

      1. Explain the species differences in species of the digestive tracks of ruminates monogastric non-ruminants, and hindgut fermenters.

      1. Explain the differences in the teeth and eating habits for omnivores, carnivores and herbivores.

  1. Investigate the common husbandry practices and daily care of companion animals and exotic animals and fish – the students will be able to:

    1. Describe husbandry and care of guinea pigs.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of chinchillas and degus.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of ferrets.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of amphibians.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of reptiles.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of birds.

    1. Describe husbandry and care of fish.

  1. Explain the various methods of animal identification – the student will be able to:

    1. Explain types of identification tags and their use.

    1. Explain the use of microchips for animal identification.

    1. Explain types of tattoos for animals and the use in both companion and production animals.

    1. Explain the types of ear tags and their use in production animals.

    1. Explain types of ear notching and use for identification.



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