How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant College near San Carlos California
Achieving your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet school near San Carlos CA may at first seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will furnish the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and comparing schools so that you can make the correct choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. Once they have located some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate choice. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the various roles of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job of a Vet Tech and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous jobs that they can perform within the San Carlos CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near San Carlos 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 involved with more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years to complete. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or San Carlos CA area research facilities also.
Online Vet Training Programs
An option that might be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local San Carlos CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for instance for commuting and study supplies, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Programs
By now you should have decided on which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in California and across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the San Carlos CA veterinary assistant and technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the vet tech or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for many San Carlos CA veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some San Carlos CA veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local San Carlos CA veterinary community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the San Carlos CA program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate 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 probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the San Carlos CA schools you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from home or work, you have to make sure that the driving time is compatible with 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, particularly if the San Carlos CA campus is located in or near 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 higher tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you determine if the California vet colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are offered near San Carlos CA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of sickness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Technician?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet tech, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Vet Technician Training Program near San Carlos CA
Enrolling in the appropriate vet technician college is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students considering vet tech or assistant colleges need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and assist 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 programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet technician, assistant or technologist in San Carlos CA.
A Little Bit About San Carlos CA
San Carlos, California
San Carlos is a city in San Mateo County, California on the San Francisco Peninsula, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. It is a small residential suburb located between Belmont (north) and Redwood City (south). The population is 28,406 per the 2010 census.
San Carlos, "The City of Good Living", aims for a "small town" feel. Its main downtown area is composed mostly of small shops and restaurants. San Carlos was the first city in California to open a charter school (San Carlos Charter Learning Center), and its schools rank consistently well in statewide lists.
San Carlos is home to San Carlos Airport and two museums. Located downtown, the San Carlos History Museum is dedicated to the display of the history of the town from early Native American history to the space age. This museum is open every Saturday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The Hiller Aviation Museum, a museum specializing in helicopter and aviation history, offers interactive exhibits and more than forty aircraft including a replica of the first aircraft to fly, a spy drone with a 200-foot wingspan, and the nose section of a Boeing 747.
More Cities of Interest in California