How to Select a Vet Tech School near Millbrae California
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary program near Millbrae CA might at first seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will provide the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about assessing and comparing colleges so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their residences. After they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the varied roles of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Tech and Assistant
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Millbrae CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Millbrae CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years. So 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 job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Millbrae CA area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinarian Colleges
An option that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered through the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Millbrae CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for traveling and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you should have determined which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California as well as across the United States, you must ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Millbrae CA veterinary assistant and tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the veterinary tech or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for many Millbrae CA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Millbrae CA vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local Millbrae CA veterinary community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate may indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the Millbrae CA school has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Millbrae CA colleges you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in a few 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 instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet technician classes from work or home, you must confirm that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Millbrae CA school is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s essential that you find out if the California veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near Millbrae CA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Veterinary Technician?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask veterinary prospects is "What made you select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Vet Tech Program near Millbrae CA
Choosing the ideal vet assistant or tech college is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Future students looking into veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the best program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Millbrae CA.
A Little Bit About Millbrae CA
Millbrae is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, just west of San Francisco Bay, with San Bruno on the north and Burlingame on the south. The population was 21,536 at the 2010 census.
Darius Ogden Mills purchased land in the 1860s from the Sanchez family to build a country estate. The former Mills estate was bordered by what is now Skyline Boulevard, Bayshore Highway U.S. Route 101, Millbrae Avenue and Trousdale Drive. The estate became known as "Millbrae" from "Mills" and the Scottish word "brae," which means "rolling hills" or "hill slope." Children swam in three lakes situated on the estate and sold acacias to tourists before the Mills family began to sell the land for development. The estate's spectacular mansion burned down during a realistic "fire drill" in 1954.
Millbrae used a private patrol financed by fees from merchants and residents until 1941, when the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors created the Millbrae Police District. Records of the Internal Revenue Service document the licensing of several Millbrae bars for gambling; only after incorporation were gambling laws enforced in Millbrae and not until the 1950s was gambling defeated. In 1931, citizens organized a volunteer fire department, which remained entirely volunteer until 1938. The police and fire departments were housed together for several years at Hillcrest Boulevard and El Camino Real before the vital services moved to their permanent location in Millbrae's civic center, a few blocks west of El Camino.
More Cities of Interest in California