How to Select a Veterinary Technician School near Clovis California
Realizing your long term aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet school near Clovis CA may initially feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a program that will furnish the necessary training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and comparing programs so that you can make the right choice? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their residences. Once they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final choice. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the different responsibilities of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Job of a Vet Tech and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many functions that they can perform within the Clovis CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Clovis CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training in contrast to assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years to complete. So the only real 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, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists can 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 Clovis CA area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinarian Programs
An alternative that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Clovis CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for example for traveling and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Degree Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California and across the Country, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Clovis CA vet assistant and technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the vet assistant or tech college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 undergone a demanding screening process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for a number of Clovis CA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final tip, contact some Clovis CA veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local Clovis CA vet community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may indicate that the Clovis CA program has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Clovis CA schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet 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 investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Clovis CA campus is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you find out if the California vet programs you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered near Clovis CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, sickness or family issues. You may discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a veterinary technician, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Vet Tech School near Clovis CA
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician program is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant schools need to make their selection based on several key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you select 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 provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Clovis CA.
A Little Bit About Clovis CA
Clovis is a city in Fresno County, California, United States. The 2016 population was estimated to be 106,583. Clovis is located 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northeast of downtown Fresno, at an elevation of 361 feet (110 m).
The city of Clovis began as a freight stop along the San Joaquin Valley Railroad. Organized on January 15, 1890, by Fresno businessmen Thomas E. Hughes, Fulton Berry, Gilbert R. Osmun, H.D. Colson, John D. Gray, and William M. Williams, in partnership with Michigan railroad speculator Marcus Pollasky, the SJVRR began construction in Fresno on July 4, 1891, and reached the farmlands of Clovis Cole and George Owen by October of that year. The railroad purchased right-of-way from both farmers, half from each – the east side from Cole and the west side from Owen – and ran tracks up the borderline between the two properties. The railroad agreed to establish a station on the west side of the tracks and to call it "Clovis". The Clovis station, after which the town was named, was positioned on the Owen side of the track.
Cole and Owen later sold land to Marcus Pollasky for development of a townsite. Fresno civil engineer Ingvart Tielman mapped the townsite on behalf of Pollasky on December 29, 1891. The original townsite featured streets named for the officers and principal investors of the railroad: (Benjamin) Woodworth, (Marcus) Pollasky, Fulton (Berry), (Thomas) Hughes, (Gerald) Osmun, and (O. D.) Baron. The townsite, named Clovis by Pollasky, was laid out on what was originally Owen's land.
More Cities of Interest in California