Veterinary Assistant is a two-year program in which students learn animal science and the care of animals. They study animal structure and function, principles of health, and microbes and disease. They develop the basic skills and techniques necessary for assisting the veterinarian in the following areas: receptionist duties; animal examinations; examining room and laboratory work; the handling, caring, and feeding of animals; first aid and surgery; and maintenance of equipment and facilities. Students receive hands-on training in animal grooming by having pets brought in for baths, nail trims, shave downs, etc. Second year students participate in on-the-job clinical instruction at Southwest Virginia Veterinary Services.