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Characteristics of training for veterinary assistants
Training for veterinary assistants differs from country to country in the study. The information gathered in our study is collated in the following table, showing a description of the training where this exists, the level of qualification, the name of the training organisation and the length of study.
The overall table shows that training is of a professional nature in all the countries studied. Only Portugal has recognised further education professional training, all the other countries having professional training of secondary level.
The conditions of training (initial, professional retraining, sandwich training) vary from country to country. Only the United Kingdom offers the three possibilities and Hungary none at all.
In all the countries where training exists, it is nationally recognised except in Spain, where it is recognised only in the private sector. This is due to the fact that in Spain training of veterinary assistants is done by a private institution. In the other countries (except Finland), training bodies are in the public sector.
What is particularly striking about this study of training for veterinary assistants is the total length of training, which varies between 2 years (in France) and almost 5 years in Spain. In general, the average length of training is 3 years in the countries studied.
The break-down between practical work and theoretical training also varies greatly from country to country. Some countries, like France, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland, favour practical teaching, others preferring theoretical teaching (Slovenia).
In conclusion, the study showed a wide variation in veterinary nursing training particularly with respect to the length of study.