Tasks for the Veterinary Assistant, Second Edition
Paula Pattengale, DVM, MA

VSPN Review by Heather Howell, RVT, MBA Star
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This book is out of print.

After reading this book, the reviewer was reminded of the number of people over the years who have asked her where they can find a good training program for their veterinary hospital support staff. As an instructor of veterinary assistant training, this text held special significance for the reviewer. This detailed and comprehensive book covers everything from appearance and professional language to how to restrain a patient, as well as covering most technical aspects of the job. Veterinary hospitals are constantly on the lookout for training checklists and programs which they can use for the training of their new technical staff. This book definitely fills that need. It is written in a step-by-step manner, divided into sections based on subject matter and tasks. When addressing a task, the author does a good job of explaining the concept of the task, then providing a step-by-step “how to” of each procedure. A veterinary assistant could easily follow the instructions in this book to learn the necessary tasks for the job. If the hospital does not have a training program, the new veterinary assistant would benefit from using this book independently. In hospitals with a training program, this book used as a training guide supplemented by an experienced mentor would definitely enhance the learning process. It could even be the starting point for a training program within the hospital since it discusses all the information a trainer would be prompted to cover. The book includes a helpful appendix with a glossary and a Competency Record which, when copied, could be used to track the effectiveness of training provided. The Competency Record also serves as an excellent method of record keeping for orientation of new employees through various areas of the hospital when trained by different people.

The illustrations that are included in the book are very informative, although I feel that more illustrations or photographs of the tasks described would be beneficial. The book is spiral bound into a notebook style which appears to have been an attempt to make it easily accessible as a quick reference; however, the cover isn’t well constructed, making turning of the pages back and forth a bit cumbersome and prone to wear and tear. This could be remedied with a separate front and back cover whose spine doesn’t run through the spiral binding. Despite these mechanics, this book is an excellent resource for new veterinary assistants. It is apparent the author’s goal was for this book to be used as a step-by-step guide to prepare technicians in the performance of new tasks on the job or in an educational setting, which is very appropriate to the content and style.

The author differentiates tasks that should be performed by credentialed veterinary technicians or veterinarians, while defining the veterinary assistant’s important supportive role in such tasks. References are provided for many tasks described should the reader desire more detailed background information. The bibliography includes Internet resources for further learning as well. This book could be helpful to any practice, as it is not specific to companion animals, exotics or large animals although there is some information provided on birds and rabbits. It has some information on large animals and includes a section on ropes and tying knots. It remains more of an overview of the tasks most veterinary assistants would encounter as opposed to singling out specific species and their needs.

Overall, I found the book to be a good resource for veterinary assistants and their training. The text would be useful for the veterinarian as well as his or her team when welcoming new team members to the practice. Every veterinary hospital should have this as part of its training library as it will be used again and again.

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (2009).

685 pgs, soft cover spiral bound.

 ISBN: 978-0-8138-1302-8.

Editor's Note: See also the VIN Review of this book.

Table of Contents
Book Reviews
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Alternative Medicine
Animal Welfare
Client Education
Cytology / Hematology / Histology
Emergency Med
Food Animals/Livestock
Handling & Restraint
Human-Animal Bond
Imaging & Radiology
Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
Laboratory Medicine
Practice Management
Rabbits, Rodents & Ferrets
Shelter Medicine
Veterinary Education
* Career Choice (VSPN Review)
* Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy XIV
* Rev. Q&A Tech. 3rd Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Textbook Of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry: 2nd ed
* Textbook Phys. Chemistry
* VSPN Notebook 3.0 (VSPN Review)
* Workbook McCurnin 7th Ed. (VSPN Review)
*Handbook Vet. Neurology 4th Ed.
An Illustrated Guide to Animal Science Terminology (VSPN)
Anatomy & Physiology of Domestic Animals, 2nd ed (VSPN)
Animal Biology and Care, 3rd Ed (VSPN)
Assessing Skills 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Atlas of Normal Radiographic Anatomy & Anatomic Variants in the Dog and Cat
Atlas of Transboundary Animal Diseases (VSPN)
Brucellosis: Recent Developments towards “One Health” (VSPN)
Career Choices for Veterinary Technicians, Opportunities for Animal Lovers (VSPN)
Case Studies in Veterinary Technology (VSPN)
Cattle Medicine
Clin. Anat. Lab. Tech. (VSPN Review)
COMPAS Material Safety Data Systems
Connecting With Grieving Clients, 2nd ( VSPN )
Contracts, Benefits and Practice Management for the Veterinary Profession, 8th Ed (VSPN)
Creating a Pet-Friendly Hospital, Animal Shelter, or Petcare Business (VSPN)
Critical Care Management for Laboratory Mice and Rats(VSPN)
CVPM Preparation Workbook
Dellmann's Histology 6th Ed.
Differential Diagnosis in Small Animal Medicine, 2nd ed (VSPN)
Domestic Animal Behavior for Veterinarians & Animal Scientists, 5th Ed (VSPN)
Electrocardiography for the Small Animal Practitioner (VSPN Review)
Equine Internal Medicine, 3rd Ed
Essentials Language (VSPN Review)
Fluid, Electrolyte, And Acid-Base Disorders In Small Animal Practice 4th Edition
Fundamentals of Pharmacology for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Edition
Good Governance and Financing of Efficient Veterinary Services (VSPN)
Good Grief – Finding Peace After Pet Loss (VSPN)
How We Do Things Here: Developing and Teaching Office-Wide Protocols (VSPN)
Human – Animal Medicine (VSPN)
Large Animal Clinical Procedures for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd Ed
Large Animal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (VSPN)
Legal Consents for Veterinary Practices, 4th (VSPN)
McCurnin Tech. 7th Ed.
Medical Math 2nd Ed.
Medical Math 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Medical Terminology: programmed system approach 10th ed.
Mosby Tech. 3rd Ed. (VSPN Review)
Mosby’s Veterinary PDQ, 2nd Edition (VSPN)
Pain Management for the Small Animal Practitioner, 2nd Ed (VSPN)
Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook, 7th Ed (VSPN Review)
Pocket Guide to APA Style, 4th Ed
Pocket Handbook Of Small Animal Medicine (VSPN)
Research Writer – Curiosity, Discovery and Dialogue
Review Q&A for Vet Techs, 4th Ed. (VSPN Review)
Saunders Anatomy (VSPN Review)
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 4th Ed.
Self-Assessment Color Review: Small Anim Cardiopulmonary Medi (VSPN)
Self-Assessment Color Review: Small Animal Ophthalmology
Sheep Medicine 2nd ed (VSPN)
Sloane’s Medical Word Book, 5th Ed
Small Animal Bandaging, Casting and Splinting Techniques
Small Animal Pediatrics: First 12 Mos. (VSPN Review)
Small Animal Radiographic Techniques and Positioning (VSPN)
Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook, 3rd Ed
Statistics at the Bench
The Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, 2nd Ed
The Goat Handbook
The Little Book of CT in Veterinary Medicine: A PRACTICAL Guide to CT Technique for Technicians and Veterinarians
The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health, Home Ed
The Pocket Wadsworth Handbook, 5th ED (VSPN)
The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook 5th Ed
UFAW Handbook Care and Management of Lab and Research Animals, 8th Ed. (VSPN Review)
Unlocking Medical Terminology (VSPN Review)
Veterinary Assisting Fundamentals (VSPN Review)
Veterinary Medical Terminology Guide and Workbook (VSPN)
Veterinary Medicine: It’s More Than You Think (VSPN)
Veterinary Microbiology and Microbial Disease, 2nd Ed.
Veterinary Technology Essentials: Instructors Resource Guide and Student Activities (VSPN)
What’s Next? A Guide to Veterinary Ultrasound of the Eye, Neck, and Shoulder
What’s That? A Beginner’s Guide to Veterinary Abdominal Ultrasound (VSPN)
When Helping Hurts: Compassion Fatigue in the Veterinary Profession (VSPN)
Writing the Research Paper – A Handbook, 8th Ed
* Clinical Tech. 5th Ed.
* Clinical Tech. 6th Ed. (VSPN Review)
* Medical Math.
* SA Surg. Nursing (VSPN Review)
* Saunders Terminology (VSPN Review)
* Vet. Anat. Workbook (VSPN Review)
*Tasks Vet. Asst. 2nd Ed.
You are here*Tasks Vet. Asst. 2nd Ed. (VSPN Review)
*Veterinary Med. Team
Wildlife-Zoo Animals

Date Published: March 3, 2010

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