How to Find the Right Veterinary Technician College near Bakersfield California
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinarian college near Bakersfield CA may initially feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you have to find and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and contrasting schools so that you can make the right choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their residences. Once they have identified some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final decision. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the varied responsibilities of vet techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Role of a Vet Tech and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can perform within the Bakersfield CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each position.
- 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 finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Bakersfield CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Bakersfield CA area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Courses
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. Because the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Bakersfield CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for travel and study supplies, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program 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 comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California as well as across the Country, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Bakersfield CA vet assistant and technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the vet assistant or technician college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a precondition for employment for many Bakersfield CA veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips 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 concerning your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Bakersfield CA veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain 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 established with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local Bakersfield CA veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate may mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the Bakersfield CA school has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bakersfield CA schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary tech classes from work or home, you have to make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Bakersfield 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 fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s important that you find out if the California veterinarian schools you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available near Bakersfield CA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family issues. You might find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Vet Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Vet Assistant Training Program near Bakersfield CA
Picking the appropriate vet technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about vet tech or assistant colleges need to make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Bakersfield CA.
A Little Bit About Bakersfield CA
Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 142 square miles (370 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is approximately 365,000, making it the ninth-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale, has a population of approximately 464,000.
The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil producing county, and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States. Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate regional offices. The city is also the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound.
Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years. The Yokuts lived in lodges along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds. In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts remained largely isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley. The Bakersfield area, once a tule-reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria.
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