Program Overview

The VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program: Experiential Learner (VMTVAP: Experiential Learner) is approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) forthe training of assistants and qualifies graduates to take the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) designation exam. In addition, the program articulates for college credit at a number of the AVMA accredited technology programs.

The VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program: Experiential Learner has been designed for employed members of the practice team who have experience working as a veterinary assistant (VA) for 5 or more years within the past 8 years. Candidates must have worked a minimum of 20 hours a week actively performing the duties of a VA. The work must have been performed in one or more traditional veterinary practices caring for client-owned animals. In addition, this fast-track option is available to those who have completed one year of formal education in an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program.

This "fast-track" version of the VMTVAP runs for 8 weeks and offers experienced assistants a vehicle to address weak areas of knowledge and skills. The fee is reduced and the program requirements are adjusted to better address the needs of the experienced VA.

But What About the Practice's Role in Training?

VetMedTeam believes that it is vitally important for the practice to be involved during the training process. A clinical mentor, a credentialed technician or veterinarian, works with the student, utilizing the skills checklists, to provide skills training and verification. This requirement allows the practice to be part of the training team.

OK - How Does This All Work?

Sections of this page provide more in-depth information regarding the program and its features and benefits. If you have any questions about the program please do not hesitate to let us know via an email to


NAVTA Approval and the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) Designation

The VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program: Experiential Learner is approved by NAVTA. Upon completion of this program, graduates are eligible to take the national AVA designation examination.

To learn more about the AVA designation visit this page Approved Veterinary Assistant.


Articulation Agreements

The VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program, the employed student versions only, articulates for college credit.

Articulation Agreements


Program Focus

The VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program: Experiential Learner has been formatted specifically for the student who is already employed at a veterinary practice as a veterinary assistant and who has 5 or more years of experience, all during the last 8 years, working as a veterinary assistant.


Program Content

The VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program: Experiential Learner explores every area of the veterinary practice, from the reception area to the surgical suite. Each module examines a different topic which will afford the veterinary assistant with the training needed to perform their job effectively. The practical skills portion of the program is achieved via the clinical mentor relationship.

This program will require a serious time commitment from the participant.

Each participant will have 8 weeks total to complete both the online and clinical portions of the program. The program may be completed sooner if the student's time allows.

For an overview of the content of the program use this link Program Overview.


Employment and Experience Requirement

Participants are required, without exception, to be currently employed a minimum of 20 hours per week. The prospective student must perform the work of a veterinary assistant in a practice which provides full medical care to clients with privately owned animals.

Shadowing, volunteering, or working as a receptionist or a kennel assistant will not provide the needed hands-on experience required to complete the course. Those employed in animal shelters, spay/neuter clinics, or volunteering at either, do not fall within the guidelines.

Participants must have their prior experience pre-approved prior to enrollment in the program to verify the 5 years within the past 8 years. At the bottom of this page there is information on how to submit the Experience Resume.


Practical Learning Component

Via the clinical portion of the program, the student works directly with a clinical mentor, who is a credentialed technician or veterinarian. The clinical mentor works with the student, guided by the skills checklists, providing skills training and verification. This requirement takes learning to the next level: application.


Participation Access Parameters

This program runs continuously. Participants may enroll at any time.

The design of this program allows each student to proceed based on individual schedule, as long as all requirements are submitted by the their submission deadlines. There are no real time sessions so participants are not required to be online attending lectures at specific times.

Each student's personal 8-week session will begin after the enrollment process has been completed. The program may be completed sooner if the student's time allows.


Technology Requirements

Participants must have access to a printer and a scanner in order to complete mandatory requirements. The scanner must be capable of saving documents to pdf format as jpg image files cannot be used.


Required Program Textbook

Elsevier's Veterinary Assisting Textbook, 2nd edition by: Margi Sirois, EdD, MS, RVT, LAT

Important Text Information:

It is mandatory that each participant has access to this textbook as the content of the book is not reproduced within the course. It is up to each person to determine the best way to acquire the text. Some will already have the text in their library and therefore will not need to purchase another copy. The text is available as a print publication and as an eBook. Where to purchase and in what format is totally up to the participant.

The text is not included in the fee for this course.

USA residents: Elsevier texts, both print and eBook, are available via the VetMedTeam Elsevier Text Portal at discounts off regular retail of 25 - 35 %. If you would like to visit the portal to take advantage of the discount please use this link VetMedTeam's Elsevier Text Portal.

Important: Regardless of which option the participant chooses, access to a copy of the textbook is mandatory. The matching workbook is not required. Without the text the student will not be able to complete the assignments, case studies and examinations.

VetMedTeam has no control over shipping delays and other related problems.


Participant Feedback

...The skills list was very beneficial for practicing the correct way to perform procedures that may have been learned on the job incorrectly and learning new procedures in areas that I don't assist in as often as others.

...I feel over all, the program was very beneficial. I think I learned new things and reinforced things I knew. I enjoyed the program very much.

...I found the program to be informative. The textbook material was a good review of everything we should know working in the veterinary field. The supplemental information on zoonotic diseases was also helpful

...I thought the book was excellent. It was well written, easy to understand, and will be a tremendous resource in the future to me and other Veterinary Assistants in our hospital.

...beneficial to me are the, resources that provide in every module and free courses in every part of the program

...When I started out it was on the job training. A lot of things didn’t get explained thoroughly - you just knew what you were supposed to do. Taking this course has helped me to better understand thing.

...Course designed for many different levels and aided in all areas of practice...

...I particularly liked the free CE courses that were offered throughout the program...

...The program was fantastic, I loved everything about this program. I found all the examinations and testing very helpful. All of this knowledge will be extremely useful to my work on an every day basis. Thank you.

...After working in this field for over 8 years, I was pleasantly surprised to find this course informative and challenging. I appreciated the in-depth information that sometimes is lost in on the job training.

...I found the chapters on anesthesia, anatomy, nutrition, and terminology the most beneficial. I found these chapters to fill in some of the blanks of my on the job training over the years.


Program Instructor

Pat Telschow, BS, LVTPat Telschow, BS, LVT

Pat started her career in veterinary medicine as a receptionist for a small animal practice. Through the encouragement of a veterinarian, she pursued her associate's degree in veterinary science technology at Suffolk County Community College and graduated with high honors. In addition, she has a B.S. in Education from Adelphi University. Pat has worked for 20 years at the Miller Place Animal Hospital on Long Island, NY as a licensed veterinary technician and now is the practice liaison where she truly enjoys the team environment.

Pat has been a VetMedTeamer since its inception. She has enjoyed working in various positions with the staff and members of VetMedTeam. Her employment started with welcoming new members to working her way up to CE Director. Pat decided to slow down her work schedule in 2009, but continues as a course instructor and the VetMedTeam Veterinary Assistant Program Facilitator. Pat is also on the Editorial Board for the NAVTA Journal.

Pat has been married to her husband, Glenn, for 45 years. They have 2 adult children, Kristian and Meredith. Kristian has blessed us with 2 perfect grandsons. Meredith shares her mother's passion for veterinary medicine and is also an LVT. Pat and Glenn's empty nest is filled with 3 kitties - Winkie, Tarzan and Nimic, a red slider turtle - Popeye, a little clown (Pekingese/Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix) - Luci and an adorable Yorkie - Ricki. Every one of her pets is a rescue from many different events in her life.


Program Fee and Enrollment Process

Price: $236.00

Step One: Submit your Experiential Resume to submit your qualifications for enrollment. Once reviewed, which usually takes no longer than 72 hours outside of holidays, you will be advised to proceed or amend. Please note you must be logged into to access this form.

Step Two: Download the Student Agreement. Read, sign, date, and scan as a PDF (no image files or electronic signatures accepted). Email the signed agreement to In the email please provide your full name and a bit about yourself and your reason for wishing to enroll in the Program.

Once both steps are completed, an email with the link to the shopping cart to submit enrollment will be sent.