How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant School near Inglewood California
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Inglewood CA may at first seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a school that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and comparing programs so that you can make the right choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. Once they have found some local colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the different roles of vet assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Technician and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are numerous functions that they can carry out within the Inglewood CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Inglewood CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and generally acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated functions, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Inglewood CA area research facilities also.
Online Vet Training Classes
An option that might make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Inglewood CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for example for travel and study materials, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
By now you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in California and across the USA, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need 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 Inglewood CA vet technician and assistant colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the veterinary assistant or tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a requirement for employment for many Inglewood CA vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Inglewood CA vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local Inglewood CA vet community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate might mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the Inglewood CA program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure 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. Request from the Inglewood CA colleges you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet assistant classes from work or home, you need to make certain that the commuting time fits into 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 Inglewood CA campus is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important that you ascertain if the California veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available near Inglewood CA prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family issues. You may discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Vet Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a vet assistant, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Vet Assistant Training Program near Inglewood CA
Picking the ideal veterinary assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering veterinary tech or assistant programs must make their determination based on multiple key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Inglewood CA.
A Little Bit About Inglewood CA
Inglewood is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, southwest of downtown Los Angeles. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 109,673. It was incorporated on February 14, 1908. The city is in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County.Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park is currently under construction in the city and when completed around 2020 will be the new home of both the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. The city is also close to the Los Angeles International Airport.
The earliest residents of what is now Inglewood were Native Americans who used the natural springs in today's Edward Vincent Jr. Park (known for most of its history as Centinela Park). Local historian Gladys Waddingham wrote that these springs took the name Centinela from the hills that rose gradually around them and which allowed ranchers to watch over their herds "(thus the name centinelas or sentinels)".:unpaged [xiv]
Waddingham traced the written history of Inglewood back to the original settlers of Los Angeles in 1781, one of whom was the Spanish soldier Jose Manuel Orchado Machado, "a 23-year-old muleteer from Los Alamos in Sinaloa". These settlers, she wrote, were ordered by the officials of the San Gabriel Mission "to graze their animals on the ocean side of Los Angeles in order not to infringe on Mission lands." As a result, the settlers, or pobladores, drove some of their cattle to the "lush pasture lands near Centinela Springs," and the first construction there was done by one Ygnacio Avila, who received a permit in 1822 to build a "corral and hut for his herders.":unpaged [xiv]
More Cities of Interest in California