How to Enroll In a Vet Tech School near Portola Valley California
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet college near Portola Valley CA could at first feel like a daunting endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a program that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. After they have located some area schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make a final choice. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the varied responsibilities of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of jobs that they can perform within the Portola Valley CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Portola Valley CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires 4 years. So the only real distinction 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 examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Portola Valley CA area research facilities also.
Vet Online Training Programs
An approach that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Portola Valley CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Training Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you want to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California as well as across the USA, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Portola Valley CA vet technician and assistant schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the vet assistant or tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. 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 undergone an extensive review process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Portola Valley CA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Portola Valley CA veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local Portola Valley CA vet community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the Portola Valley CA school has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Portola Valley CA programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you have to confirm that the driving 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, especially if the Portola Valley CA school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you find out if the California vet schools you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are offered near Portola Valley CA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of sickness, work or family issues. You may find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask veterinary prospects is "What compelled you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a vet assistant, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Veterinary Technician School near Portola Valley CA
Picking the right vet technician program is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech programs need to make their determination based on several key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative 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 schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Portola Valley CA.
A Little Bit About Portola Valley CA
Portola Valley, California
Portola Valley (94028) an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States, which was founded in 1964.
Portola Valley was named for Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolá, who led the first party of Europeans to explore the San Francisco Peninsula in 1769. The town was officially incorporated in 1964. The town's long history dates back to 1834, when land was used for the Rancho Corte de Madera primarily for cattle grazing. Another place of interest within the town was the Searsville area, now owned by Stanford University. Searsville's redwood trees were logged and used for building housing. Evidence of logging can be seen by walking through the preserve and examining the abnormal redwood growth from where the trees used to stand.
Portola Valley is located at 37°22′30″N 122°13′7″W / 37.37500°N 122.21861°W / 37.37500; -122.21861 (37.375023, -122.218635), on the eastern slope of the Peninsula Coastal Range of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is on the town's southwest side and the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is on the north side of town. It is off Interstate 280, near Woodside, just west of Palo Alto and Los Altos and south of Menlo Park, and is in a mostly wooded area, with some open plains. The unincorporated subdivision of Ladera is adjacent to the northern boundary of the town.
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