2015 – 2016 Florida Department of Education Curriculum Framework

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Course Number: ATE0072

Occupational Completion Point: C

Veterinary Assistant -150 Hours – SOC Code 29-2056

  1. Groom selected companion and livestock animals – the students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of using a variety of brushes, combs, flea combs, mat splitters, undercoat rakes, etc to groom animal hair/fur as needed for both cosmetic and therapeutic reasons.

    1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of using clippers to cut animal hair/fur as needed for both cosmetic and therapeutic reasons.

    1. Explain the necessity of following written and oral instructions and all label directions regarding shampoos for bathing and therapeutic or flea rinses (dips).

    1. List precautions in bathing and dipping including avoiding soap or chemicals in the eyes, lathering the entire body, timing the shampoo application according to directions, and towel or blow drying.

    1. Identify the area of blood and nerve supply of the nail in the dog and cat and common pets such as rabbits and ferrets.

    1. Identify appropriate instrument or nail trimmer for small and large dogs and cats.

    1. Demonstrate comfortable handling of paw or limb during nail trim for dog and cat.

    1. Explain methods for hemostasis if nail is accidentally trimmed too short.

    1. Notify supervisor of abnormalities including in-grown nails and abnormal growth or shape.

    1. Describe the steps in expressing anal sacs using the external method.

    1. Discuss proper hoof care and hoof trimming needs.

  1. Describe exotic animals and the effects of captivity on them – the students will be able to:

    1. Define exotic animal, zoo animal, invasive and native animals.

    1. Identify exotic animals native and invasive to Florida.

    1. Explain the effects of urbanization on the wildlife population.

    1. Describe the roles of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in wildlife management.

    1. Explain the effects of state, national, and international laws on the domestication of the exotic animals.

  1. Assess techniques used in surgical assisting and surgical preparation – the students will be able to:

    1. Prepare and sterilize surgical equipment and supplies.

  • Explain standard procedure for cleaning and lubricating all stainless steel instruments.

  • Explain appropriate use of ultrasonic instrument cleaning and proper solutions.

  • Explain cold sterilization trays and appropriate solutions.

  • Demonstrate assembly and wrapping of surgical packs for sterilization.

  • Demonstrate folding and wrapping a surgical gown for sterilization.

  • Explain proper procedure for sterilizations methods including the autoclave and gas sterilization (ethylene oxide) including safety precautions with each.

    1. Describe components of surgical assisting.

  • Explain aseptic protocol for maintaining sterility of the surgical field.

  • Demonstrate what can and cannot be touched when assisting in a surgical environment.

  • Demonstrate how suture material might be removed from its outer packaging and passed to the surgeon while maintaining sterility.

    1. Summarize procedures necessary of patient preparation.

  • Explain reason for pre-surgical fasting and appropriate time interval.

  • List methods to identify animal for surgery and confirm identity.

  • Demonstrate dorsal and sternal recumbancy positioning and securing animal in each on the surgery table under anesthesia as instructed by the veterinary technician or veterinarian.

  • Demonstrate clipping or shaving surgical field as instructed by the veterinary technician or veterinarian.

  • Demonstrate cleaning and disinfecting the surgical field using currently accepted standards for aseptic technique and surgical scrub.

    1. Identify proper post-surgical care techniques.

  • List parameters to monitor during recovery and signs of distress in the recovery period.

  • Explain the swallow reflex and the appropriate time and method for endotracheal tube removal.

  • Explain appropriate transfer of animal from surgery to recovery kennel, positioning in kennel, and precautions in kennel.

  • Confirm “No food or water” or similar instructions on recovery kennel.

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of pharmacology – the students will be able to:

    1. Identify forms of medication including tablet, capsule, liquid, powder, granules, topical creams, liquids, and gels.

    1. Explain the application of topical flea medication which is absorbed through the skin and precautions for safety of pets and humans.

    1. Demonstrate the reconstitution of vaccine using appropriate diluents and amounts of diluents.

    1. Demonstrate administration of a tablet or capsule to a cat and to a dog.

    1. Demonstrate the administration of a liquid to a cat and to a dog.

    1. Explain per os, oral, topical, parenteral, and injectable in terms of administering pharmaceuticals.

    1. Demonstrate the ability to follow oral and written instructions on medication, form of medication, amount of medication, and route of administration of medication.

    1. List the components that must be present on a prescription label.

    1. Observe and understand controlled substances logs and security.

    1. Inventory pharmacy supplies and notify supervisor of low supplies.

    1. Identify expiration date on labels and notify supervisor of expired drugs.

    1. Maintain clean shelves and storage areas for pharmaceuticals.

    1. Describe the process for administering medications by injection, oral, nasal and topical.

    1. Describe the procedure for safe disposal of medications.

    1. Determine methods to observe animals for medicine side effects or allergies.

  1. Explain proper methods of syringe and hypodermic needle use – the student will be able to:

    1. Identify and give the correct alignment from smallest to largest of hypodermic needles including 12 g, 18g, 20 g, 22 g and 25 g.

    1. Identify specified needle gauge and length when requested.

    1. Identify and align from smallest to largest commonly used syringes including 3cc, 6cc, 12cc, 20cc, 35cc, 60cc and 1cc tuberculin or insulin syringe.

    1. Identify specified syringe size when requested.

    1. Demonstrate the ability to read the precise volume of medication in a syringe and to fill a syringe with medication to a specified volume when requested.

    1. Describe appropriate SQ, IM, and IV injection sites.

Additional Information

Laboratory Activities

Laboratory investigations that include scientific inquiry, research, measurement, problem solving, emerging technologies, tools and equipment, as well as, experimental, quality, and safety procedures are an integral part of this career and technical program/course. Laboratory investigations benefit all students by developing an understanding of the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work, as well as the skills required to manage, operate, calibrate and troubleshoot equipment/tools used to make observations. Students understand measurement error; and have the skills to aggregate, interpret, and present the resulting data. Equipment and supplies should be provided to enhance hands-on experiences for students.

Special Notes

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.

Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO)

FFA is the intercurricular career and technical student organization(s) providing leadership training and reinforcing specific career and technical skills. Career and Technical Student Organizations provide activities for students as an integral part of the instruction offered. The activities of such organizations are defined as part of the curriculum in accordance with Rule 6A-6.065, F.A.C.

Cooperative Training – OJT

On-the-job training is appropriate but not required for this program. Whenever offered, the rules, guidelines, and requirements specified in the OJT framework apply.

Basic Skills (if applicable)

In PSAV programs offered for 450 hours or more, in accordance with Rule 6A-10.040, F.A.C., the minimum basic skills grade levels required for postsecondary adult career and technical students to complete this program are: Mathematics 9, Language 9, and Reading 9. These grade level numbers correspond to a grade equivalent score obtained on a state designated basic skills examination.

Adult students with disabilities, as defined in Section 1004.02(7), Florida Statutes, may be exempted from meeting the Basic Skills requirements (Rule 6A-10.040). Students served in exceptional student education (except gifted) as defined in s. 1003.01(3)(a), F.S., may also be exempted from meeting the Basic Skills requirement. Each school district and Florida College must adopt a policy addressing procedures for exempting eligible students with disabilities from the Basic Skills requirement as permitted in Section 1004.91(3), F.S.
Students who possess a college degree at the Associate of Applied Science level or higher; who have completed or are exempt from the college entry-level examination; or who have passed a state, national, or industry licensure exam are exempt from meeting the Basic Skills requirement (Rule 6A-10.040, F.A.C.) Exemptions from state, national or industry licensure are limited to the certifications listed on the Basic Skills and Licensure Exemption List which may be accessed from the CTE Program Resources page.


Federal and state legislation requires the provision of accommodations for students with disabilities to meet individual needs and ensure equal access. Postsecondary students with disabilities must self-identify, present documentation, request accommodations if needed, and develop a plan with their counselor and/or instructors. Accommodations received in postsecondary education may differ from those received in secondary education. Accommodations change the way the student is instructed. Students with disabilities may need accommodations in such areas as instructional methods and materials, assignments and assessments, time demands and schedules, learning environment, assistive technology and special communication systems. Documentation of the accommodations requested and provided should be maintained in a confidential file.

Note: postsecondary curriculum and regulated secondary programs cannot be modified.

Additional Resources

For additional information regarding articulation agreements, Bright Futures Scholarships, Fine Arts/Practical Arts Credit and Equivalent Mathematics and Equally Rigorous Science Courses please refer to:


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