How to Pick a Vet Tech College near Monrovia California
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Monrovia CA could at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing colleges so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their homes. Once they have identified some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the different duties of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Tech
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Monrovia CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Monrovia CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared to assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially perform the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 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 career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Monrovia CA area research facilities also.
Online Vet Training Classes
An alternative that might be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available over the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Monrovia CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for instance for commuting and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. 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 independent mode, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Colleges
By now you should have decided on which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in California as well as across the United States, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Monrovia CA veterinary assistant and tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary technician or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding screening process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Monrovia CA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. 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 suggestions include looking on 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 grievances or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Monrovia CA vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to get clinical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local Monrovia CA veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant program may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the Monrovia CA college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Monrovia CA colleges you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from home or work, you must make certain 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, especially if the Monrovia CA campus is located in or close by a larger 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 especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an option 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 find out if the California veterinarian programs you are evaluating 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 may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered near Monrovia CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family emergencies. You might find that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a vet assistant, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Right Vet Tech Degree Program near Monrovia CA
Enrolling in the appropriate veterinary technician school is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students considering veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when 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 colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Monrovia CA.
A Little Bit About Monrovia CA
Monrovia is a city located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 36,590 at the 2010 census, down from 36,929 in 2000. Monrovia has been used for filming TV shows, movies and commercials.
Monrovia is the fourth oldest general law city in Los Angeles County and the L.A. Basin (after Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Pasadena, all now charter cities). Incorporated in 1887, Monrovia has grown from a sparse community of orange ranches to a residential community of 37,000.
Around 500 BC, a band of Shoshonean-speaking Indians named the Tongva established settlements in what is now the San Gabriel Valley. They were called the Gabrieliño Indians by early Spanish missionaries, a tribe of Mission Indians. The Tongva were not farmers; they gathered wild seeds, berries, and plants along rivers and in marshlands. Abundant oaks in the Valley, such as Coast Live Oak and Interior Live Oak provided a staple of the Tongva diet: acorn mush made of boiled acorn flour.
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