How to Pick a Veterinary Technician School near Piedmont California
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Piedmont CA could initially feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a program that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. Once they have located some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated also. The main idea 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 in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the various roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Vet Assistant and Technician
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, 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 direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Piedmont CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Piedmont 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 associated with more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few 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 undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex functions, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four 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 options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Piedmont CA area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian Training Programs
An approach that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Piedmont CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm 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 practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Degree Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California and across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Piedmont CA veterinary technician and assistant colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the vet technician or assistant program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, among the most highly respected 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 verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for many Piedmont CA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school ranking 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 relating to your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Piedmont CA vet clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to get clinical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Piedmont CA veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician school may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate may signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Piedmont CA program has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify 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 probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Piedmont CA schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from work or home, you must make certain 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Piedmont CA campus is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do opt to attend 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. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you ascertain if the California vet colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available near Piedmont CA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask veterinary prospects is "What compelled you to pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a veterinary technician, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good 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 organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Best Vet Tech Degree Program near Piedmont CA
Selecting the appropriate vet technician program is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech or assistant programs must make their determination based on multiple key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to 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 best school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Piedmont CA.
A Little Bit About Piedmont CA
Piedmont is a small, mostly-residential, semi-suburban city located in Alameda County, California, United States. Piedmont is completely surrounded by the city of Oakland. Its residential population was 10,667 at the 2010 census. The name comes after the region of Piedmont in Italy, and literally means foothill. Piedmont was incorporated in 1907, and was developed significantly in the 1920s and 1930s. The Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) includes three elementary schools, one middle school, and two high schools.
The original neighborhood of Piedmont was larger than the current municipality of Piedmont, with the Mountain View Cemetery considered full part of the Piedmont neighborhood.
Residents originally sought incorporation in 1907. Two elections were held among the citizens of Piedmont in 1907, both of which narrowly upheld the decision for Piedmont to become a separate city, rather than become a neighborhood within the city of Oakland.
More Cities of Interest in California