How to Find the Right Vet Assistant School near Santa Monica California
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Santa Monica CA could at first seem like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a program that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the best selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. After they have identified some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to 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 furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the varied roles of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Technician and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous duties that they can carry out within the Santa Monica CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Santa Monica CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and normally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Santa Monica CA area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Programs
An approach that may make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple 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 usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Santa Monica CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, such as for travel and study supplies, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school 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 provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Colleges
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in California as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the Santa Monica CA veterinary assistant and tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s essential that you verify that the vet assistant or technician college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive screening process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a prerequisite for employment for many Santa Monica CA vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on 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 infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, call some Santa Monica CA veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Ask 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 obtain practical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local Santa Monica CA veterinary community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the Santa Monica CA college has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Santa Monica CA schools you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you must make certain that the commuting time is compatible with 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, especially if the Santa Monica CA college is located in or close by a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you determine if the California veterinary programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available near Santa Monica CA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Tech?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a vet assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Vet Technologist Program near Santa Monica CA
Enrolling in the right vet assistant or tech college is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary assistant or tech programs must make their selection based on multiple key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as 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 schools 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 selection. And by picking the right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Santa Monica CA.
A Little Bit About Santa Monica CA
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south. The Census Bureau population for Santa Monica in 2010 was 89,736.
Due in part to an agreeable climate, Santa Monica became a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism. The Santa Monica Pier remains a popular destination.
Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language. The first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present-day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769. Named after the Christian saint Monica, there are two different accounts of how the city's name came to be. One says it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica (mother of Saint Augustine), but her feast day is May 4. Another version says it was named by Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs (Serra Springs), that were reminiscent of the tears Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety.
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