How to Pick a Veterinary Technician Program near Bridgeport California
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary school near Bridgeport CA might at first seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle assessing and comparing schools so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. After they have located some local schools, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the different roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main factor will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Bridgeport CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most 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 Bridgeport CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved activities, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex functions, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years. So the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist 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 certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Bridgeport CA area research facilities also.
Online Vet Colleges
An approach that may make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary college 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 accessible. The curriculum is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Bridgeport CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, such as for traveling and study materials, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished 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 ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Programs
By now you should have determined which veterinarian certificate or degree that you want to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California and across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to choose a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the Bridgeport CA vet technician and assistant schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the veterinary assistant or tech college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that confirms you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Bridgeport CA veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations involving your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Bridgeport CA vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local Bridgeport CA veterinary community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the Bridgeport CA program has an outstanding reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean 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, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Bridgeport CA colleges you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from home or work, you need 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 commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Bridgeport CA school is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s imperative that you find out if the California veterinary colleges you are looking at 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 classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available near Bridgeport CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family emergencies. You might find that an online program is the best way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Veterinary Technician?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask veterinary candidates is "What made you choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Vet Technician School near Bridgeport CA
Picking the ideal vet assistant or tech college is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students thinking about vet assistant or tech programs need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. 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 choice. And by picking the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Bridgeport CA.
A Little Bit About Bridgeport CA
Bridgeport is a seaport city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is the largest city in the state and is located in Fairfield County at the mouth of the Pequonnock River on Long Island Sound. Bridgeport had a population of 144,229 during the 2010 Census, making it also the 5th-most populous in New England. It is bordered by the towns of Trumbull to the north, Fairfield to the west, and Stratford to the east. The Greater Bridgeport area is the 48th-largest urban area in the United States. Located 60 miles from Manhattan and 40 miles from the Bronx, Bridgeport is also part of the New York metropolitan area.
Bridgeport was inhabited by the Paugussett Indian tribe at the time of its English colonization. The English farming community became a center of trade, shipbuilding, and whaling. The town incorporated to subsidize the Housatonic Railroad and rapidly industrialized following the rail line's connection to the New York and New Haven railroad. Manufacturing was the mainstay of the local economy until the 1970s.
The showman P.T. Barnum was a resident of the city and served as the town's mayor in the late 19th century. Barnum built four houses in Bridgeport, and housed his circus in town during winter. The first Subway restaurant opened in the North End section of the city in 1965. The Frisbie Pie Company was located here, and Bridgeport is credited as the birthplace of the Frisbee.
More Cities of Interest in California