How to Pick a Vet Assistant Program near Glendale California
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Glendale CA could at first seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must find and enroll in a school that will provide the proper training so that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle assessing and comparing schools so that you can make the ideal selection? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their residences. When they have found some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make a final decision. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various responsibilities of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can perform within the Glendale CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Glendale CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared with assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Glendale CA area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Colleges
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Glendale CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for travel and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinary certificate or degree that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California and across the USA, you must ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the Glendale CA veterinary assistant and tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary tech or assistant college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that ensures you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Glendale CA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final pointer, contact some Glendale CA vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local Glendale CA veterinarian community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant school may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate could suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the Glendale CA school has an outstanding reputation within the vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Glendale CA schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you have to make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Glendale CA school is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s essential that you find out if the California vet programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near Glendale CA before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You might find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask veterinary prospects is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a veterinary technician, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Best Veterinary Tech College near Glendale CA
Enrolling in the appropriate vet assistant or tech school is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary tech or assistant colleges must make their selection based on a number of key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Glendale CA.
A Little Bit About Glendale CA
Glendale /ˈɡlɛndeɪl/ is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Its estimated 2014 population was 200,167, making it the third largest city in Los Angeles County and the 23rd-largest city in California. It is located about 8 miles (13 km) north of downtown Los Angeles.
Glendale lies on the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley, bisected by the Verdugo Mountains, and is a suburb in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city is bordered to the northwest by the Sun Valley and Tujunga neighborhoods of Los Angeles; to the northeast by La Cañada Flintridge and the unincorporated area of La Crescenta; to the west by Burbank and Griffith Park; to the east by Eagle Rock and Pasadena; to the south by the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles; and to the southeast by Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Golden State, Ventura, Glendale, and Foothill freeways run through the city.
Glendale has one of the largest communities of Armenian descent in the United States. In 2013, Glendale was named LA's Neighborhood of the Year by the readers and editors of Curbed.com.
More Cities of Interest in California