Veterinary Assistant

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Veterinary Assistant

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Veterinary Assistant

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When it comes to choosing a career path in the healthcare industry, there are numerous options to consider. Two popular choices are becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) or a Veterinary Assistant. Both of these professions involve providing care to patients, but the specific roles and responsibilities differ. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between a Licensed Vocational Nurse and a Veterinary Assistant, including their job descriptions, education and training requirements, and career outlook.

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What is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Veterinary Assistant?

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN): A Licensed Vocational Nurse, also known as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in some states, is a healthcare professional who provides basic nursing care under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. LVNs work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare agencies. They are responsible for monitoring patients' vital signs, administering medications, dressing wounds, and assisting with activities of daily living.

Veterinary Assistant: A Veterinary Assistant is a healthcare professional who provides support to veterinarians and veterinary technicians in animal healthcare settings. They work in veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, and research laboratories. Veterinary Assistants are responsible for assisting with animal examinations, restraining animals during procedures, preparing and sterilizing surgical instruments, and providing basic nursing care to animals.

Difference between a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Veterinary Assistant

While both Licensed Vocational Nurses and Veterinary Assistants work in healthcare settings, there are several key differences between these two professions:

  1. Scope of Practice: Licensed Vocational Nurses have a broader scope of practice compared to Veterinary Assistants. LVNs are trained to provide basic nursing care to patients, including administering medications and performing wound care. Veterinary Assistants, on the other hand, focus on animal care and support services.

  2. Patient Population: Licensed Vocational Nurses primarily work with human patients, while Veterinary Assistants work with animals. LVNs provide care to individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Veterinary Assistants provide care to a variety of animal species, including dogs, cats, and exotic animals.

  3. Supervision: Licensed Vocational Nurses work under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians. They may also supervise other healthcare personnel, such as Certified Nursing Assistants. Veterinary Assistants work under the direct supervision of veterinarians or veterinary technicians.

  4. Medical Knowledge: Licensed Vocational Nurses receive extensive training in human anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and medical procedures. They are knowledgeable about human diseases and conditions. Veterinary Assistants, on the other hand, focus on animal anatomy, physiology, and common veterinary procedures.

  5. Licensing and Certification: Licensed Vocational Nurses are required to obtain a state license to practice. They must complete an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Veterinary Assistants do not require a license, although some choose to pursue certification through organizations such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Veterinary Assistant: Job Description

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Job Description:

  • Monitor patients' vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature
  • Administer medications, including oral, intramuscular, and intravenous routes
  • Assist with patient assessments and physical examinations
  • Perform wound care and dressing changes
  • Collect specimens for laboratory testing
  • Provide emotional support and education to patients and their families
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement care plans

Veterinary Assistant Job Description:

  • Assist veterinarians and veterinary technicians during animal examinations and procedures
  • Restrain animals during treatments and procedures
  • Prepare and sterilize surgical instruments
  • Clean and maintain animal kennels and exam rooms
  • Administer medications and vaccinations to animals
  • Provide basic nursing care to animals, such as cleaning wounds and monitoring vital signs
  • Educate pet owners on animal care and preventive medicine

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Veterinary Assistant: Education and Training

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Education and Training:

  • Complete a state-approved nursing program, which typically takes about 12-18 months
  • Obtain a diploma or associate degree in practical nursing
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN)
  • Some states may have additional requirements, such as background checks or fingerprinting

Veterinary Assistant Education and Training:

  • High school diploma or equivalent is typically required
  • Some veterinary clinics may offer on-the-job training for Veterinary Assistants
  • Others may prefer candidates with formal training from a vocational school or community college
  • Certification is not required, but it can enhance job prospects and demonstrate competency in the field

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Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Veterinary Assistant: Career Outlook and Salary

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Career Outlook and Salary:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of Licensed Practical Nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses was $48,500 in May 2020, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $63,360.

Veterinary Assistant Career Outlook and Salary:

  • The BLS does not provide specific data for Veterinary Assistants, but they are included in the broader category of Veterinary Technologists and Technicians.
  • Employment of Veterinary Technologists and Technicians is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians was $36,260 in May 2020, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $52,410.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career as a Licensed Vocational Nurse or a Veterinary Assistant is a personal decision that depends on your interests, skills, and career goals. Both professions offer rewarding opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others, whether it's humans or animals. Consider your passion for healthcare, your preferred patient population, and the level of education and training you are willing to pursue. Ultimately, it's important to choose a career path that aligns with your values and provides fulfillment in your professional life.

Dreambound's program is accessible in diverse locations. Take a deep dive into these blogs for comprehensive insights into the two vocations, covering their requirements and guidance on joining:

Justine Tacmo
Written by
Justine Tacmo

Justine Tacmo is part of the Growth team at Dreambound. He assists the organization by updating critical information so students receive the most up-to-date information for their desired trade schools. Besides, he has a passion for writing and expresses it through poetry, covering themes of life, love, and mental health, which is also his advocacy.

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