How to Choose a Veterinary Technician School near Alameda California
Achieving your long term dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Alameda CA may initially feel like a daunting endeavor. After all, you must search for and enroll in a program that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle reviewing and comparing schools so that you can make the right selection? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their homes. After they have located some local schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final choice. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various responsibilities of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Tech
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Alameda CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Alameda CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared to assistants and generally obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Alameda CA area research facilities as well.
Vet Online Schools
An option that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Alameda CA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for travel and study supplies, may be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online veterinary technician or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Schools
By now you should have decided on which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in California and across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Alameda CA veterinary technician and assistant schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the veterinary assistant or tech college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive review process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Alameda CA vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Alameda CA veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs arranged with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local Alameda CA veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate may suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the Alameda CA school has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Alameda CA colleges you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from home or work, you must confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Alameda CA college is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s essential that you ascertain if the California vet schools you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are available near Alameda CA before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family issues. You may find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Vet Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a veterinary technician, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Right Vet Technician College near Alameda CA
Picking the right vet technician school is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech programs must make their decision based on multiple key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Alameda CA.
A Little Bit About Alameda CA
Alameda County, California
Alameda County (/ˌæləˈmiːdə/ AL-ə-MEE-də) is a county in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,510,271, making it the 7th-most populous county in the state. Its county seat is Oakland. Alameda County is included in the San Francisco Bay Area, occupying much of the East Bay region.
Alameda County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
The county was formed on March 25, 1853, from a large portion of Contra Costa County and a smaller portion of Santa Clara County.
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