How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant School near Palos Verdes Peninsula California
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Palos Verdes Peninsula CA might initially seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will provide the proper training so that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about assessing and comparing schools so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. When they have identified some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the varied duties of vet techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Function of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the primary factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Palos Verdes Peninsula CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Palos Verdes Peninsula CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and normally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially perform the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Palos Verdes Peninsula CA area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Degree Programs
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Palos Verdes Peninsula CA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for example for commuting and study materials, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Schools
By now you probably have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California as well as across the United States, you need to ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to choose a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Palos Verdes Peninsula CA veterinary assistant and tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the vet technician or assistant school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, one of 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 thorough screening process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Palos Verdes Peninsula CA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Palos Verdes Peninsula CA veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local Palos Verdes Peninsula CA vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the Palos Verdes Peninsula CA school has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Palos Verdes Peninsula CA programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you need to make certain that the commuting 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 Palos Verdes Peninsula CA college is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you ascertain if the California veterinarian colleges 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 attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are offered near Palos Verdes Peninsula CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, sickness or family emergencies. You may find that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often 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 private reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Right Veterinary Assistant Degree Program near Palos Verdes Peninsula CA
Picking the ideal vet technician school is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering vet assistant or tech colleges need to make their decision based on multiple key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when 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 applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the right school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Palos Verdes Peninsula CA.
A Little Bit About Palos Verdes Peninsula CA
Palos Verdes Peninsula
The Palos Verdes Peninsula (from Spanish Palos Verdes: Green sticks) is a landform and a geographic sub-region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, within southwestern Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California. Located in the South Bay region, the peninsula contains a group of affluent cities in the Palos Verdes Hills, including Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. The South Bay city of Torrance borders the peninsula on the north, the Pacific Ocean is on the west and south, and the Port of Los Angeles is east.
The hill cities on the peninsula are known for dramatic ocean and city views, distinguished schools, extensive horse trails, and expensive homes.
The peninsula was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans people for thousands of years. In other areas of the Los Angeles Basin archeological sites date back 8,000 years. Their first contact with Europeans occurred in 1542 with João Cabrilho (Juan Cabrillo). Chowigna and Suangna were two Tongva settlements of many in the peninsula area, which was also a departure point for their rancherías on the Channel Islands.
More Cities of Interest in California