How to Pick a Veterinary Technician College near Atherton California
Realizing your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet college near Atherton CA may at first seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a program that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about assessing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their homes. After they have found some local schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. 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 reviewing before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the different duties of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialization interests 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 Atherton CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Atherton CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared to assistants and normally acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians 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. Therefore the only real 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 options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
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 labs or Atherton 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 attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Atherton CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary technician or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Training Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Atherton CA vet assistant and technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, 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 thorough screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Atherton CA veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online 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 grievances or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Atherton CA vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive 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 experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with area veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local Atherton CA veterinarian community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate could mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Atherton CA program has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Atherton CA schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend a few 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 instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you have to make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Atherton CA college is located in or close by a larger city. Also, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s essential that you find out if the California veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others 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 available near Atherton CA prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Veterinary Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a vet assistant, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics 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 enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Veterinary Assistant Degree Program near Atherton CA
Enrolling in the ideal veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech schools need to make their decision based on a number of key factors. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the ideal program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet technician, assistant or technologist in Atherton CA.
A Little Bit About Atherton CA
Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 7,159 as of 2013. Atherton is ranked to be the wealthiest city in the United States, and is regularly ranked among the most expensive zip codes in the country.
In 1866, Atherton was known as Fair Oaks, and was a flag stop on the California Coast Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad between San Francisco and San Jose for the convenience of the owners of the large estates who lived north of Menlo Park. The entire area was called Menlo Park. It had been part of the Rancho de las Pulgas that had covered most of the area, which is now southern San Mateo County. There were several attempts to incorporate Fair Oaks, one in 1874 and another in 1911.
In 1923, Menlo Park wished to incorporate its lands to include the Fair Oaks lands. During a meeting of the representatives of the two communities, it became clear to the Fair Oaks property owners that in order to maintain their community as a strictly residential area, they would have to incorporate separately. Both groups rushed to Sacramento but the Fair Oaks committee arrived first. It was at that time they realized that they could not keep the name Fair Oaks, as it was already the name of a town near Sacramento. It was decided to honor Faxon Dean Atherton who had been one of the first property owners in the south peninsula and name the Town for him. Atherton was incorporated on September 12, 1923. That same year, in 1923, the Menlo Polo Club was founded in Atherton.
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