Veterinary Receptionist Program Outline

A virtually fail-proof path to a new career.

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Our veterinary receptionist courses are the quickest, simplest way to turn your love of animals into a steady paycheck and cuddly new career. Our training is current and comprehensive because it’s developed by industry professionals with years of real-world experience, and in collaboration with our large employer partners. Visually rich course materials include lots of images and videos, learning games, and practical exercises to help you rapidly learn all the new concepts. You’ll complete your training prepared to pass the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam and start working immediately in either veterinary clinics or people practices.

Program Timeline

Our program is designed to be completed in four months of full-time study (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). However, it’s totally self-paced, so you have the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows. How long it takes to complete your veterinary receptionist training is up to you. If you need a little extra time, you’ll have one full year of program access to complete your training. You can also purchase extensions beyond that if needed. Best of all, you don’t have to wait. You can begin today. As soon as your payment is processed, we’ll email your login and password so you can start training immediately.

328 hours of online courses

Just 4 months of full-time study

12 months of program access

Study Format

Our have-it-your-way training is always on…because it’s online. 24/7 web access gives you the freedom to study however, wherever, and whenever you want. Got a laptop? You’re ready to rock!

Learn from home (or anywhere)

Study online (anytime)


Don’t think of our veterinary receptionist training courses as e-learning. Think of them as we-learning, because we’re with you every step of the way. We’ve got dedicated trainers, tutors,tech support specialists, and personal career advisors—all committed to your success from sign up to job hunt.

One-on-one support

Phone, live chat, and email

Veterinary Receptionist Program Modules

How do you consume lots of new information quickly? One bite at a time, of course. That’s why our veterinary medical receptionist curriculum is broken into 27 bite-size modules. Click the modules below to see exactly what you’ll learn.

Program Orientation (1 Hour)

  • Identify the elements, expectations, and requirements of the program.
  • Navigate the program using the pages, menus, and buttons provided.
  • Use the program tools, including the study planner, grade book, and completion report as well as learn how to connect with CareerStep via phone, email, forums, chat rooms, and social media.
  • Identify and use program resources.

Microsoft Office Training Orientation (1 Hour)

  • Follow the lesson structure and download available study tools.
  • Navigate the Microsoft Office training module(s) using the buttons and icons provided.

Word 2019: Beginner (10 Hours)

  • Identify and use the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, tabs, scroll bars, cursor, ruler, and status bar.
  • Create, save, open, edit, navigate, print, share, and recover a document.
  • Edit and format text with options such as alignment, fonts, lists, spacing, tab stops, page format, layout, paragraph alignment and spacing, and copy formatting.
  • Employ the available search and review tools, including spell and grammar check, find and replace, copy, paste, and document view options.

Excel 2019: Beginner (12 Hours)

  • Use the Quick Access Toolbar, title bar, display options, formula bar, and worksheet tab.
  • Create, save, open, edit, navigate, and print a worksheet.
  • Create, edit, delete, and format cells with options such as cell alignment, applying cell styles, splitting cells, merging cells, row and column titles, row and column width, hide and unhide, and page setup and view options.
  • Edit cell data using options and tools such as cut, copy, paste, AutoFill, text tools, and cell references.
  • Create basic, logical, financial, and text formulas.

Working as a Veterinary Assistant (3 Hours)

  • Understand the role of the veterinary assistant.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct.

Business Writing (16 Hours)

  • Identify appropriate methods of communication in a variety of situations.
  • Apply all steps of the writing process to create professional documents, including pre-writing, organizing, writing, and editing.
  • Create professional and accurate letters, memos, and emails, and identify the qualities of professional communication, modern communication trends, etiquette, and professional document formatting.
  • Identify and use program-specific resources.

Veterinary Assistant Foundations (14 hours)

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of medical words, inclusive of prefixes, roots, suffixes, and abbreviations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical words and abbreviations related to pharmacology.
  • Identify and classify the major structure and organs of animals.

Animal Safety & Nutrition (14 Hours)

  • Promote patient and provider safety.
  • Demonstrate proper handling techniques.
  • Demonstrate proper restraint techniques.
  • Identify basic nutritional concepts that contribute to the health of the animal.

Client Management (16 hours)

  • Demonstrate caring and professional behavior with patients, healthcare teams, and patient advocates.
  • Develop communication and customer service skills.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of each member of the veterinary team.
  • Adhere to professional standards regarding patient information.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct.
  • Apply therapeutic communication techniques within the healthcare team.
  • Apply the above skills and ensure safety within the veterinary office setting.
  • Identify how ethical and legal issues impact patient care outcomes and the healthcare team.
  • Understand the importance of pet insurance.

Patient Management (18 Hours)

  • Demonstrate the ability to read and interpret health record documentation.
  • Develop skills for data collection and interpretation.
  • Demonstrate basic exam room procedures.
  • Understand the basic zoonotic and communicable diseases.

Small & Large Animals (15 Hours)

  • Differentiate various breeds of cats and dogs.
  • Differentiate the breeding process of cats and dogs.
  • Demonstrate understanding of safety concerns for small and large animals.
  • Identify and classify the major structure and organs of the avian and reptile.
  • Demonstrate proper handling techniques of the avian and reptile.
  • Identify and classify the major structure and organs of the equine.
  • Demonstrate proper handling techniques of the equine.
  • Assist in the care of small or large animals.

Pharmacy & Pharmacology (8 Hours)

  • Understand the legal issues related to pharmacology and pharmacy.
  • Understand the proper techniques for administering vaccines.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of filling medications and inventory control.

Laboratory and Surgical Procedures (14 Hours)

  • Adhere to safe and professional lab skills and techniques.
  • Identify proper laboratory record keeping techniques.
  • Assist in the laboratory setting as needed.
  • Demonstrate how to maintain an x-ray log.
  • Demonstrate how to process diagnostic radiographs.
  • Adhere to safety standards while handling processing chemicals.
  • Adhere to safety standards while assisting the veterinarian and/or veterinary technician with diagnostic radiographs and ultrasounds and caring for the patient.
  • Adhere to quality control standards.
  • Demonstrate the process of labeling, filing, and storing film and radiograph.
  • Adhere to safety standards and equipment cleanliness of the radiology equipment.
  • Adhere to standards while maintaining equipment such as film cassettes and screens.
  • Demonstrate how to assist with surgical procedures.
  • Adhere to safety standards with equipment cleanliness.
  • Adhere to safety standards with facility cleanliness.

Working as a Medical Administrative Assistant (3 Hours)

  • Identify the essential skills, qualities, duties, and strategies of an effective medical administrative assistant.
  • Identify the members of a medical team and their responsibilities, as well as identify employer expectations and name medical office industry certifications.

Computer Fundamentals (7 Hours)

  • Identify basic computer hardware and interpret system requirements.
  • Navigate a Windows operating system environment as well as install and operate basic software utilities.
  • Use a web browser to navigate between websites in multiple tabs or windows, send and receive email, and access search engines to find information and troubleshoot basic computer problems.
  • Recognize basic technologies related to an office environment.

Healthcare Structure and Organization (25 Hours)

  • Identify the involvement of everyone in the healthcare system, including consumers, providers, government and regulatory agencies, third-party payers, vendors, and trade associations.
  • Recognize the basic differences between inpatient/outpatient/ancillary services, attending/consulting/referring physicians, and direct care/support services.
  • Identify and describe patient rights and responsibilities.
  • Identify the responsibilities of healthcare-related government agencies.
  • Identify third-party payers, as well as appropriately use the associated terminology in a healthcare documentation context.

Medical Laws and Ethics (5 Hours)

  • Apply a basic understanding of medical law to a medical office setting.
  • Use common types of medical consent and contract forms. Recognize common types of medical malpractice and explain the role of available insurance policies in preventing and defending against claims.
  • Apply basic medical ethics guidelines in a medical office setting.

Healthcare Documentation (10 Hours)

  • Identify basic types of medical records, including work types, components, formatting, and documentation standards.
  • Define HIPAA compliance and other related regulations, as well as the role of healthcare documentation workers in preserving patient confidentiality and managing risk.

Exploring Healthcare Reimbursement (25 Hours)

  • Use and maintain fee schedules.
  • Accurately collect patient demographics.
  • Identify different types of reimbursement systems.
  • Prepare for and help with medical record audits.
  • Recognize third-party payer systems, including insurance forms and pre-certification.
  • Process and submit medical claims.
  • Recognize the fundamental principles and resources used in medical coding.

Medical Word Building (15 Hours)

  • Identify common medical roots and prefixes.

Basic Anatomy (20 Hours)

  • Identify and describe the basic structure and functions of human body systems.
  • Identify and define basic anatomical terms related to the basic structure and function of human body systems.

Mastering Medical Language (23 Hours)

  • Pluralize common medical words.
  • Define common medical slang, jargon, and foreign terms.
  • Distinguish between common similar medical words and word parts.
  • Recognize common medical abbreviations and their meanings.

Grammar and Punctuation (10 Hours)

  • Identify and correctly use each of the parts of speech.
  • Recognize proper sentence structure and formatting, including punctuation and capitalization.

Medical Office Procedures (20 Hours)

  • Identify the principles of effective interpersonal communication.
  • Communicate professionally in writing.
  • Professionally manage inbound and outbound telephone calls.
  • Demonstrate effective office and reception management, including opening and closing the office, managing a waiting room, and greeting and registering patients.
  • Schedule patient appointments.

Medical Office Management (20 Hours)

  • Recognize and prepare medical records and charts and related filing systems.
  • Describe the benefits and drawbacks of electronic health records systems.
  • Recognize best practices of medical office management, including staffing, policy, scheduling, and equipment issues.
  • Name appropriate courses of action for medical office emergencies, including risk management, CPR, emergency preparation and supplies, fainting, heart attacks, choking, bleeding, and hazardous waste.

Practice Finances (10 Hours)

  • Describe the payment process and manage payments, including explanations to patients about insurance basics, fee schedules, billing, and adjustments.
  • State and describe the basic functions and uses of medical office software.
  • Manage the basic financial documentation of a medical office, including personnel records, financial accounts, and daily deposits.

Final Exam Preparation (1 Hour)

  • Identify the steps needed to take to be eligible for and effectively prepare for and access the final exam.
  • Identify the format, restrictions, and policies of final exams, including scoring, retakes, allowed resources, and time limits.

Veterinary Receptionist Certifications

The moment you successfully complete your veterinary receptionist training, you can take the CMAA certification exam. (Your training includes a free exam voucher, a $117 value.) This nationally recognized credential is backed by the National Healthcareer Association. It proves your administrative competence and capability to keep physician or veterinarian offices and clinics running efficiently.

Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)