How to Enroll In a Veterinary Assistant School near Death Valley California
Achieving your long term goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet program near Death Valley CA might at first feel like a daunting task. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle assessing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. Once they have found some area schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs 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 looking at before you make a final selection. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the different duties of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Function of a Vet Technician and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the primary factor will probably 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 practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Death Valley CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal 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 Death Valley CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and usually acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and basically carry out the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician 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 additionally mandated 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 urgent care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Death Valley CA area research facilities also.
Online Vet Colleges
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using multiple methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Death Valley CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for instance for commuting and study supplies, can be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you wish to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California and across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to select 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 need to ask the Death Valley CA veterinary technician and assistant schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the vet tech or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, 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 get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Death Valley CA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in 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 complaints or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, call some Death Valley CA veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get practical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help develop connections in the local Death Valley CA vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate might signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the Death Valley CA school has an excellent reputation within the vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean 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 probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Death Valley CA colleges you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations 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 talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you must 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 commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Death Valley CA campus is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the California veterinarian colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered near Death Valley CA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online program is the best way to fit your vet training into your active life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a veterinary technician, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Best Veterinary Technician School near Death Valley CA
Selecting the appropriate vet assistant or tech program is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary assistant or tech schools must make their selection based on several key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you pick 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 ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Death Valley CA.
A Little Bit About Death Valley CA
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, it occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts in the United States. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 91% of the park is a designated wilderness area. It is the hottest, driest and lowest of the national parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times.
A series of Native American groups inhabited the area from as early as 7000 BC, most recently the Timbisha around 1000 AD who migrated between winter camps in the valleys and summer grounds in the mountains. A group of European-Americans that became stuck in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California gave the valley its name, even though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams. The valley later became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies. Tourism blossomed in the 1920s, when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994.
The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology. The valley itself is actually a graben. The oldest rocks are extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient, warm, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean. Additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. This uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes. Later the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, such as Lake Manly.
More Cities of Interest in California