How to Pick a Vet Tech School near San Fernando California
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian program near San Fernando CA might initially feel like an overwhelming task. After all, you have to find and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the correct selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. When they have identified some area colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the varied duties of vet assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if 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 devote to your training, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous functions that they can perform within the San Fernando CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a structured 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 San Fernando CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and typically acquire 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 fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially perform the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or San Fernando CA area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Colleges
An option that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area San Fernando CA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for example for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just be sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Colleges
By now you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you wish to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California as well as across the United States, you need to ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the San Fernando CA veterinary technician and assistant schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the vet technician or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous screening process that confirms you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of San Fernando CA veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some San Fernando CA veterinarians that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local San Fernando CA veterinary 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 technician or assistant school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate could suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the San Fernando CA program has an excellent reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean that the training is not well regarded 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 individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the San Fernando CA programs you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from work or home, you must confirm that the commuting 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, particularly if the San Fernando CA campus is located near or in 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 higher tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s essential that you ascertain if the California veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near San Fernando CA before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities. You may find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Vet Technician Training Program near San Fernando CA
Selecting the appropriate vet technician college is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students considering vet tech or assistant programs need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you select 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 included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the ideal college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in San Fernando CA.
A Little Bit About San Fernando CA
San Fernando, California
San Fernando is a city in the San Fernando Valley, in the northwestern region of Los Angeles County, California. It is surrounded by the City of Los Angeles.
The city was named for the nearby Mission San Fernando Rey de España (which in turn was named after St. Ferdinand), and was part of the Mexican land grant of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. In 1874 Charles Maclay, San Fernando founder, bought 56,000 acres (227 km2) of the Rancho. In 1882, cousins George K. Porter and Benjamin F. Porter of future Porter Ranch each received one-third of the total land. In 1885, Maclay founded the Maclay School of Theology, a Methodist seminary in his newly founded town of San Fernando. After his death it became an affiliate and moved to the campus of the University of Southern California and then the Claremont School of Theology.
While most of the towns in the surrounding San Fernando Valley agreed to annexation by Los Angeles in the 1910s, eager to tap the bountiful water supply provided by the newly opened Los Angeles Aqueduct, San Fernando's abundant groundwater supplies allowed it to remain a separate city. Even as the San Fernando Valley transformed itself from an agricultural area to a suburban one in the decades after World War II, San Fernando retained its independence.
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