How to Enroll In a Veterinary Assistant Program near Pomona California
Fulfilling your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet college near Pomona CA could at first seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must find and enroll in a school that will provide the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the proper selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. After they have found some area schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make a final selection. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the varied responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Job of a Vet Technician and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Pomona CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Pomona 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 associated with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared with assistants and normally earn a 2 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 basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex functions, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated 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 emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Pomona CA area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Colleges
An alternative that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Pomona CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for traveling and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make certain that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Degree Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian certificate or degree that you want to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in California as well as across the United States, you should ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on 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 need to ask the Pomona CA vet assistant and tech programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the vet assistant or tech college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, 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 an extensive review process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of Pomona CA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references 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 targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Pomona CA vet clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local Pomona CA vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate may suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the Pomona CA program has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Pomona CA schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from home or work, you must make certain that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Pomona CA school is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important that you ascertain if the California vet programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered near Pomona CA prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online college is the best solution to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Veterinary Tech College near Pomona CA
Picking the appropriate vet technician school is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students looking into veterinary tech or assistant colleges must make their decision based on several key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the best college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Pomona CA.
A Little Bit About Pomona CA
Pomona is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Pomona is located in the Pomona Valley, between the Inland Empire and the San Gabriel Valley. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 149,058.
The area was originally occupied by the Tongva or Gabrielino Native Americans.
The city is named for Pomona, the ancient Roman goddess of fruit. For Horticulturist Solomon Gates, "Pomona" was the winning entry in a contest to name the city in 1875, before anyone had ever planted a fruit tree The city was first settled by Ricardo Vejar and Ygnacio Palomares in the 1830s, when California and much of the now-American Southwest were part of Mexico. The first Anglo-Americans arrived in prior to 1848 when the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo resulted in California becoming part of the United States. By the 1880s, the arrival of railroads and Coachella Valley water had made it the western anchor of the citrus-growing region. Pomona was officially incorporated on January 6, 1888.
More Cities of Interest in California