How to Select a Vet Assistant College near Petrolia California
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near Petrolia CA could initially seem like a daunting task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a school that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle assessing and contrasting schools so that you can make the right choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their residences. Once they have found some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the different roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can perform within the Petrolia CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Petrolia CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated duties, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Petrolia CA area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Degree Programs
An option that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Petrolia CA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for traveling and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Degree Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian certificate or degree 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 vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California and across the United States, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Petrolia CA vet technician and assistant colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary tech or assistant program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous review process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a precondition for employment for a number of Petrolia CA veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Petrolia CA vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local Petrolia CA veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate may indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the Petrolia CA program has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify 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 bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Petrolia CA programs 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 teachers. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet technician classes from home or work, you must make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Petrolia CA school is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an alternative 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 determine if the California veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available near Petrolia CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You might find that an online program is the best way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Veterinary Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may 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 relating primarily to veterinary care, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Best Vet Tech School near Petrolia CA
Enrolling in the ideal vet assistant or tech school is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students considering vet tech or assistant programs need to make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Petrolia CA.
A Little Bit About Petrolia CA
Coordinates: 40°19′31″N 124°17′13″W / 40.32528°N 124.28694°W / 40.32528; -124.28694
Petrolia (formerly, New Jerusalem and Petrolea) is an unincorporated community in Humboldt County, California, 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Cape Mendocino, at an elevation of 121 feet (37 m), within ZIP Code 95558, and area code 707. Petrolia was the site of the first oil well drilled in California.
Petrolia has an estimated population of 300-500 people within a 15-mile radius. It is located in the Mattole Valley, part of the Lost Coast region, one of the largest wilderness areas and the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the continental United States. Petrolia's isolation is due to its position on the rocky, treacherous coastline adjacent to the King Range mountains that isolate this area from mainland California and continue to leave the area almost completely undeveloped.
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