How to Pick a Vet Tech College near San Jose California
Realizing your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary program near San Jose CA might at first feel like a daunting task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a college that will provide the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their homes. Once they have found some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the different roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
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 predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many duties that they can perform within the San Jose CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near San Jose 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 associated with more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are included in more complicated functions, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or San Jose CA area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian Schools
An alternative that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are provided through the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local San Jose CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for commuting and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the perfect option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Schools
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you want 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, vocational and trade schools in California as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the San Jose CA veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s essential that you verify that the veterinary assistant or technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that ensures you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of San Jose CA veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, phone some San Jose CA veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local San Jose CA veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate might signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the San Jose CA college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not highly 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 bigger, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the San Jose CA colleges you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students relating to 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 College Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from home or work, you need to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the San Jose CA school is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes may be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s important that you ascertain if the California vet programs you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit 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. Make sure that the class times you need are available near San Jose CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online college is the best way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a veterinary technician, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Vet Tech College near San Jose CA
Choosing the ideal veterinary assistant or tech program is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their determination based on several key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in San Jose CA.
A Little Bit About San Jose CA
San Jose, California
San Jose (/ˌsæn hoʊˈzeɪ/, Spanish for "Saint Joseph"; Spanish pronunciation: [saŋ xoˈse]), officially the City of San José, is an economic, cultural, and political center of Silicon Valley and the largest city in Northern California. With an estimated 2016 population of 1,026,908, it is the third most populous city in California (after Los Angeles and San Diego) and the tenth most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.1 km2). San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San Jose is the largest city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Ohlone people. San Jose was founded on 29 November 1777, as the Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, the first city founded in the Californias. When California gained statehood in 1850, San Jose became the state's first capital. Following World War II, San Jose experienced an economic boom, with a rapid population growth and aggressive annexation of nearby cities and communities carried out in the 1950s and 1960s. The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center to an urbanized metropolitan area. Results of the 1990 U.S. Census indicated that San Jose had officially surpassed San Francisco as the most populous city in Northern California. By the 1990s, San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley had become the global center for the high tech and internet industries, making it California's fastest-growing economy.
San Jose is a global city, notable as a center of innovation, for its affluence and high cost of living. San Jose's location within the booming high tech industry, as a cultural, political, and economic center has earned the city the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley". San Jose is one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world, and has the third highest GDP per capita in the world (after Zurich, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway), according to the Brookings Institution. With a median home price of $1,085,000, San Jose has the most expensive housing market in the country and the fifth most expensive housing market in the world, according to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. Major global tech companies including Cisco Systems, eBay, Cadence Design Systems, Adobe Systems, PayPal, Brocade, Samsung, Acer, and Western Digital maintain their headquarters in San Jose, in the center of Silicon Valley.
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