ASC180 Animal Handling and Health Care (8)

This is the first of a suite of subjects (four in total) which are used for the basis of the awarding of a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. In this subject you (the student) are introduced to the animal care and veterinary services industry and to key foundational knowledge and skills that will enable you to appropriately handle and restrain animals and provide for their behavioural and nutritional needs, especially when they are patients in a veterinary clinic or hospital. In addition, you will develop digital literacy skills, as well as the ability to analyse and evaluate information to complete a range of activities and solve a range of real life situations. This subject will assist you to develop self reflection and self assessment skills in order to develop a strategy for professional lifelong learning. This will be achieved through online quizzes and formal academic writing assessment tasks. Teaching activities include exploring the online learning environment through participating in chat rooms, blogs and forums, exploring different social media as learning platforms, discovering your learning styles, and developing time management strategies. For ALL STUDENTS (both internal and those studying by distance education), this subject includes online modules, 10 days of workplace learning (WPL) in a veterinary clinic and a compulsory, 4 day residential school (conducted on the GOTAFE campus at Wangaratta, Victoria) during which you will begin to develop practical skills essential for a veterinary technologist.

For the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology, students are required to complete four subjects (ASC180, ASC181, ASC182 and ASC183) and a total of 35 days of WPL in a veterinary clinic to gain the knowledge and practical skills and competencies required for the awarding of the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Of these 35 days of WPL, 10 days are completed as part of this subject.  The remaining 25 days are completed as extramural studies, with the associated assessment (of these  25 days) undertaken in ASC181 Applied Veterinary Nursing.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC180. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the structure of the animal care and veterinary services industry and the different roles within the industry;
  • be able to identify animals from a range of different species and breeds;
  • be able to safely handle and restrain animals;
  • be able to provide daily care of animals including cleaning of animal housing and grooming of animals;
  • be able to describe and provide for an animal's husbandry, behavioural and nutritional needs, especially when it is a patient in a veterinary clinic or hospital;
  • be able to observe and monitor animal patients;
  • be able to describe and identify 'normal' parameters and variations from normality in animals;
  • be able to gather information on medications and services for animals and relate these to individual animal requirements and audience needs;
  • be able to administer treatments under appropriate (veterinary) supervision;
  • to able to provide nursing to hospitalised (animal) patients;
  • be able to describe and provide high standards of hygiene and infection control;
  • be able to assist in preparing patients and the surgical theatre for surgery;
  • be able to effectively communicate within the workplace with peers, clients and supervisors;
  • be able to understand and apply the appropriate terminology, cultural practices and working conditions of an animal care workplace in relation to individuals and others;
  • be able to identify customer needs and deliver and monitor customer service; and
  • be able to demonstrate safe workplace practices.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The structure of the animal care and veterinary services industry and careers paths for veterinary technologists
  • Introduction to veterinary legislation
  • The role of the veterinary technologist in the administration of treatments to animals
  • Introduction to veterinary workplace policies and procedures
  • Occupational health and safety in the animal care and veterinary services industry
  • Animal species and breeds
  • Introduction to animal anatomy and physiology
  • Introduction to animal behaviour, welfare, nutrition and general husbandry
  • Identifying animal needs
  • Physical examination of animals
  • Animal handling
  • Introduction to animal health and infection control
  • Patient medication requirements
  • Introduction to veterinary workplace communications and calculations
  • Compiling patient and client histories
  • Hygiene, preparation and organisation of the surgical theatre
  • Animal preparation for surgery
  • Signs of pain
  • Pre- and post-operative patient care
  • Appropriate information sources
  • Productive working environments
  • Sustainable work practices

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 10 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

The workplace learning is to be undertaken in a veterinary clinic and involves the student gaining practical skills associated with the care and handling of animals.

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

The purpose of the residential school is to ensure students have the competencies that veterinary technologists are expected to have (based on industry needs).  The program will include tutorials and practical classes associated with the following: appropriate handling and restraint of a range of different animal species, basic animal care routines and administration of medications.

Special Resources

Students will be required to undertake 10 days of workplace learning (in a veterinary clinic) for which they will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation. Travel and accommodation may also be required to attend a compulsory, 4 day,  residential school (for both internal and distance education students) conducted on the GOTAFE campus at Wangaratta, Victoria.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.