How to Pick a Vet Assistant School near Kentfield California
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Kentfield CA may at first feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have identified some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the various duties of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Kentfield CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Kentfield CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. 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 career options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Kentfield CA area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Schools
An alternative that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Kentfield CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you want to earn, and if you want 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 qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the Kentfield CA veterinary assistant and tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary assistant or technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, 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 an extensive screening process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Kentfield CA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Kentfield CA vet clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local Kentfield CA veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate could signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the Kentfield CA school has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Kentfield CA programs you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you must make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Kentfield CA campus is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s essential that you determine if the California veterinarian schools you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue working 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 in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available near Kentfield CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online college is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a vet tech, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Vet Technologist Degree Program near Kentfield CA
Choosing the appropriate vet technician college is an important first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary tech or assistant schools need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the best college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Kentfield CA.
A Little Bit About Kentfield CA
Kentfield (formerly Ross Landing, Tamalpais, and Kent) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Marin County, California, United States, just north of San Francisco. Kentfield is located on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of downtown San Rafael, at an elevation of 115 feet (35 m). The population was 6,485 at the 2010 census. The ZIP codes are 94904 for street addresses, and 94914 for PO boxes, and are shared with the neighboring community of Greenbrae.
Kentfield is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Tamalpais. It is at 37°57′08″N 122°33′26″W / 37.95222°N 122.55722°W / 37.95222; -122.55722.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which, 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) of it is land and 0.52% is water.
More Cities of Interest in California