How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant College near Redwood City California
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Redwood City CA might initially feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing programs so that you can make the ideal choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their residences. When they have located some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the various duties of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Function of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Redwood City CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Redwood City CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty 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 activities, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- 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 usually takes 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 job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs 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 labs or Redwood City CA area research facilities as well.
Vet Online Colleges
An alternative that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using multiple methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Redwood City CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for instance for travel and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just be sure that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes 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 veterinary technician or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Training Programs
By now you should have determined which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in California as well as across the United States, you need to ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Redwood City CA veterinary assistant and technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Redwood City CA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. 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 checking with online school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Redwood City CA veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to get practical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help build associations in the local Redwood City CA veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate could suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the Redwood City CA program has an excellent 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 highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Redwood City CA colleges you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend a couple of 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 instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you have to make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Redwood City CA college is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the California veterinarian schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available near Redwood City CA before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Tech?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Best Vet Tech Training Program near Redwood City CA
Picking the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech school is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about vet tech or assistant programs need to make their decision based on multiple key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided 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 school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Redwood City CA.
A Little Bit About Redwood City CA
Redwood City, California
Redwood City is a city on the San Francisco Peninsula in Northern California's Bay Area, approximately 27 miles (43 km) south of San Francisco, and 24 miles (39 km) northwest of San Jose. Redwood City's history spans its earliest inhabitation by the Ohlone people to being a port for lumber and other goods. The county seat of San Mateo County, it is the home of several technology companies such as Box, Oracle, Evernote, Wealthfront, and Electronic Arts. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 76,815. The Port of Redwood City is the only deepwater port on San Francisco Bay south of San Francisco. Redwood City is the location of the San Mateo County Jail, for both women and men. The Malibu Grand Prix long time landmark was recently demolished along with the city's only Mini Golf, Go-Kart, Video Game Arcade, and Batting Cages. Malibu Grand Prix's previous location is currently the construction site of a new additional Jail and Inmate housing facility. The city has a motto "Climate Best By Government Test" which is a reference to it being one of the top German scouted scientific climates and the city was one of the locations mapped by them during their testing and data collection. The Hetch Hetchy water pipeline runs through Redwood City and supplies a vast majority of the surrounding area with low grain (+/− 3 grains) rated water.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 34.7 square miles (90 km2), of which 19.4 square miles (50 km2) is land and 15.2 square miles (39 km2) (43.91%) is water. A major watercourse draining much of Redwood City is Redwood Creek, to which several significant river deltas connect, the largest of which is Westpoint Slough.
Redwood City stretches from the San Francisco Bay towards the Santa Cruz Mountains between San Carlos to the northwest and Atherton to the southeast with Woodside to the southwest. It is divided by Highway 101 and further inland El Camino Real on the northwest/southeast axis and Woodside Road on the north-northeast/south-southwest axis. Locally, the former two are regarded as north/south and the latter east/west, as 101 and El Camino connects Redwood City to San Francisco and San Jose and Woodside Road runs from San Francisco Bay to the Santa Cruz Mountains.
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