How to Pick a Vet Tech Program near Garden Grove California
Realizing your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary program near Garden Grove CA could at first seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you have to find and enroll in a program that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. After they have located some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into as well. 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 discuss the various responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Vet Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the main factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Garden Grove CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Garden Grove CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental 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 duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the main 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 opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Garden Grove CA area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Programs
An option that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Garden Grove CA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for commuting and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. 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 self-reliant manner, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Schools
By now you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in California and across the United States, you should ask some relevant questions in order to 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 pointed out other important qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to choose a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Garden Grove CA veterinary assistant and technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the vet tech or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that ensures you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a precondition for employment for a number of Garden Grove CA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, phone some Garden Grove CA veterinarians that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs arranged with regional veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local Garden Grove CA veterinarian community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of 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 mean that the Garden Grove CA program has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Garden Grove CA programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary tech classes from home or work, you need to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Garden Grove CA school is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important 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 in the evenings. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered near Garden Grove CA prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of sickness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a veterinary technician, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Veterinary Technician Degree Program near Garden Grove CA
Enrolling in the ideal veterinary assistant or tech school is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary assistant or tech colleges must make their selection based on multiple key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools 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 decision. And by picking the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Garden Grove CA.
A Little Bit About Garden Grove CA
Garden Grove, California
Garden Grove is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States, located 34 miles (55 km) south of the city of Los Angeles. The population was 170,883 at the 2010 United States Census. State Route 22, also known as the Garden Grove Freeway, passes through the city in an east-west direction. The western portion of the city is known as West Garden Grove.
Garden Grove was founded by Alonzo Cook in 1874. A school district and Methodist church were organized that year. It remained a small rural crossroads until the arrival of the railroad in 1905. The rail connection helped the town prosper with crops of orange, walnuts, chili peppers and later strawberries.
In 1933, much of the town's central business district was destroyed by the Long Beach earthquake, and one person was killed at the high school. The post-World War II boom led to rapid development, and Garden Grove was incorporated as a city in 1956 with about 44,000 residents.
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