How to Enroll In a Veterinary Technician School near Durham California
Achieving your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary school near Durham CA could at first seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper choice? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. Once they have found some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the varied responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Durham CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Durham CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically 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 career opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Durham CA area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Training Programs
An approach that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using various 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 fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Durham CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Programs
By now you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in California and across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Durham CA vet assistant and tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the vet assistant or technician college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier 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 an extensive screening process that ensures you will obtain 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 programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for many Durham CA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Durham CA veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Durham CA veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate might suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the Durham CA college 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 placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Durham CA schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary tech classes from home or work, you need to make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Durham CA school is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s essential that you determine if the California vet schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available near Durham CA before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a veterinary technician, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Best Vet Tech School near Durham CA
Choosing the right vet technician school is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering veterinary assistant or tech programs need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the best program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Durham CA.
A Little Bit About Durham CA
Durham is a census-designated place (CDP) in Butte County, California, United States. The population was 5,518 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 81.9 square miles (212 km2), of which, 81.8 square miles (212 km2) of it is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) of it (0.19%) is water. Durham's main agricultural products are almonds and walnuts.
According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Durham has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.
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