Becker Animal Hospital | Job Description – Exam Room Assistant
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Job Description – Exam Room Assistant

The Exam Room Assistant assists the veterinarians with patient care and treatment, monitors hospitalized pets, maintains inventory, prepares prescriptions, performs routine in-house laboratory work, educates clients regarding veterinary care and procedures, and assists with surgical procedures at Becker Animal Hospital. The Exam Room Assistant operates under the supervision of the Medical Director and the Management Team.

PRIMARY JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Communicate with clients regarding the medical status of their pet. Provide accurate information to clients concerning fees, hospital policies and procedures, etc. 
  • Instruct clients as to what they should do prior to bringing their pets in for procedures, how to care for their pets after discharge from the hospital, how to administer medications, etc.
  • Educate clients regarding preventive medicine and vaccination requirements. Recommend laboratory procedures, such as pre-anesthetic profiles, geriatric screening, fecals, urinalysis, heartworm checks, various testing, etc. Give clients handouts and educational materials to take home to further their understanding of veterinary issues.
  • Demonstrate warmth, courtesy and professionalism in all interactions with clients. Exercise compassion and care in all interactions with patients.
  • Restrain animals in a safe, efficient and compassionate manner during examinations and procedures. Know how to properly handle difficult or contentious animals.
  • Follow established procedures in order to assist veterinarians with examinations and facilitate the flow of clients and patients through the out-patient clinic. Consult with veterinarians on a daily basis to plan each day’s activities. Keep doctors apprised of potential problems, discussions with clients, etc.
  • Review medical records and notes made by the admitting receptionist in order to discern the nature of the visit and any tests or procedures that may be needed. 
  • Greet clients and escort them and their pets into an exam room. Place the patient on the exam table and prepare for the doctor to enter the room. Obtain basic information (weight, temperature, etc) on the pet.
  • Discuss with the client the reason for the visit (chief complaint), any symptoms or problems being experienced, and any procedures that may need to be done (i.e. vaccinations, fecal or heartworm tests, etc). Utilize a pre-exam checklist, lifestyle surgery and any other applicable client educational pieces to ensure that all medical needs are covered.
  • Obtain any laboratory samples that may be needed from the pet or make sure that laboratory work is performed by another team member while the patient is still in the exam room. Utilize a fecal loop when necessary. Anticipate and prepare any medications or vaccines the doctor will need to treat the patient.
  • Notify the veterinarian when patients in the exam room are ready to be seen. Advise the veterinarian of the information already known such as the nature of the visit, preventive procedures due, tests that are to be run, etc. Assist the veterinarian within the exam room by restraining the animal, preparing forms, obtaining instruments, etc. Remain in the exam room until excused by the doctor.
  • Ensure all procedures rendered during the visit are documented for proper billing. Ensure that all vaccinations, procedures, notes, etc have been documented in the medical record.
  • Escort the client and patient to the front desk and give the medical record and patient visit form to the receptionist for client receipting. Prepare the exam room for the next visit.
  • Prepare specimens for outside laboratory. Obtain results from the laboratory over the phone or fax.
  • Monitor laboratory supplies and order additional laboratory supplies as needed.
  • Take, and maintain radiographs following proper safety procedures.
  • Perform routine suture removals, nail trims, and weight checks. Apply bandages and splints under the direction of the attending veterinarian.
  • Give injections, as directed by veterinarian – intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous.
  • Promote the practice’s products, programs and services. Utilize passive marketing. Make suggestions to clients about products appropriate for their pet’s condition.
  • Accurately dispense prescription medications as directed by veterinarian. Prepare prescription labels and appropriately package medications. Ensure that medications are added to the patient’s record and appropriately charged to the client. 
  • Follow DEA and OSHA guidelines.  Document controlled drug logs anytime a controlled drug is used. Follow appropriate safety and handling of hazardous materials. Follow established hospital safety guidelines regarding radiographs, controlled drugs, animal handling, etc.
  • Clean and straighten exam rooms, treatment and lab areas. Restock exam rooms with supplies as needed. Assist other team members to keep the public areas of the practice clean and well maintained. Clean and maintain all medical equipment as required. 
  • Demonstrate initiative and teamwork in everyday duties, assisting other team members within the practice.
  • Organize work area and exercise time management skills to maximize personal efficiency within the practice. Prioritize tasks and handle multiple tasks in a calm, organized manner. 
  • Work well with all team members and ensure that your actions support the hospital, the doctors, and the practice philosophy.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

CONTROLS OVER WORK

The practitioners provide continuing or individual assignments indicating generally what is to be done, limitations, quality and quantity expected, deadlines and priority of assignments. The practitioners provide additional, specific instructions for new, difficult or unusual assignments in animal health care, including suggested work methods or advice on source materials available.

The Exam Room Assistant uses initiative in carrying out recurring assignments independently without specific instructions, but refers deviations, problems, and unfamiliar situations not covered by instructions to the practitioner for decision or help. The practitioners assure that finished work and methods used are technically accurate and in compliance with instructions or established procedures.  Review of the work increases with more difficult assignments, if the exam room assistant has not previously performed similar assignments.  Administrative supervision may be provided by the Medical Director and Management Team.

SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE

  • Knowledge of the procedures used for receiving, treating, and scheduling patients, for ordering medical supplies, and requesting laboratory tests.
  • Knowledge of proper methods of animal restraint.
  • Apply knowledge and skills in controlling/handling individual animal temperament
  • Knowledge of the use, care, and storage of veterinary instruments, materials, and equipment.
  • Knowledge of sterilization techniques to sterilize various instruments and materials.
  • Knowledge of the instruments, materials, and standardized procedures used in the full variety of treatments to make preparations and provide “tableside” assistance.
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing client and personal services. This includes client needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of client satisfaction.
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Ability to work independently on assigned tasks as well as to accept direction on given assignments. Understand and carry out oral and written direction.

PHYSICAL EFFORT

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the primary functions of this job.

  • Frequently required to bend, stand, stoop, walk, sit, talk, and listen, frequently working in a bent position.
  • Frequently use hands to manipulate, handle, or feel; will reach with hands and arms.
  • Use strength or agility in capturing and restraining stronger, more active animals.
  • Frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. 

Occasionally handle dogs weighing up to and over 150 lbs. Assistance will be provided by animal handlers when working with larger animals.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to hazards associated with aggressive patients; hazards associated with infected animals and controlled substances; exposure to unpleasant odors and noises; exposure to bites, scratches and animal wastes; possible exposure to contagious diseases.

Follow federal and state animal health laws and regulations including OSHA and DEA.