How to Select a Veterinary Technician School near Novato California
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinarian college near Novato CA may initially seem like a daunting task. After all, you must search for and enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle analyzing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. After they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered as well. The main idea 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 in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the different responsibilities of vet techs and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job of a Vet Assistant and Tech
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary determiner 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 direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Novato CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Novato CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared to assistants and generally obtain a 2 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 fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years to complete. So the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Novato CA area research facilities as well.
Veterinarian Online Degree Programs
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic 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 by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Novato CA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, such as for commuting and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses 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 vet technician or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Schools
By now you should have selected which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California as well as across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Novato CA veterinary assistant and technician schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the veterinary tech or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding screening process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Novato CA vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Novato CA veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to get practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local Novato CA vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant college can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate could suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the Novato CA college has an exceptional reputation within the vet 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 placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Novato CA schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet technician classes from work or home, you have to make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Novato CA campus is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school 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 online classes might be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s important that you ascertain if the California vet programs you are exploring 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. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered near Novato CA before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Veterinary Technician?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask veterinary candidates is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best Vet Tech School near Novato CA
Selecting the right vet assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant colleges must make their determination based on a number of key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Novato CA.
A Little Bit About Novato CA
Novato (/nəˈvɑːtoʊ/ nə-VAH-toh) is a city in northern Marin County, in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 51,904. Novato is located about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of San Rafael and about 30 miles (48 km) north of San Francisco on U.S. 101.
What is now Novato was originally the site of several Coast Miwok villages: Chokecherry, near downtown Novato; Puyuku, near Ignacio; and Olompali, at the present-day Olompali State Historic Park.
In 1839, the Mexican government granted the 8,876-acre (35.92 km2) Rancho Novato to Fernando Feliz. The rancho was named after a local Miwok leader who had probably been given the name of Saint Novatus at his baptism. Subsequently, four additional land grants were made in the area: Rancho Corte Madera de Novato, to John Martin in 1839; Rancho San Jose, to Ignacio Pacheco in 1840; Rancho Olompali, awarded in 1843 to Camilo Ynitia, son of a Coast Miwok chief; and Rancho Nicasio, by far the largest at 56,621 acres (229.1 km2), awarded to Pablo de la Guerra and John B.R. Cooper in 1844. Novato, along with the rest of California, became part of the United States on February 2, 1848. Early pioneers included Joseph Sweetser and Francis De Long who bought 15,000 acres (61 km2) in the mid-1850s and planted orchards and vineyards.
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