How to Pick a Vet Assistant Program near San Pedro California
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet school near San Pedro CA might at first seem like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a program that will furnish the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach reviewing and comparing programs so that you can make the right choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. When they have identified some local schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the various roles of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Technician and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many jobs that they can perform within the San Pedro CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near San Pedro CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and typically acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more involved duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires 4 years. So the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or San Pedro CA area research facilities also.
Vet Online Courses
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available over the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local San Pedro CA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, such as for commuting and study supplies, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in California as well as across the United States, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the San Pedro CA veterinary assistant and technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the veterinary assistant or technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, 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 a demanding review process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of San Pedro CA veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some San Pedro CA vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local San Pedro CA veterinarian community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant school can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the San Pedro CA program has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the San Pedro CA programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from work or home, you need to confirm that the driving time fits into 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 Pedro CA campus is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s essential that you find out if the California veterinary schools you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many 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 sure that the class times you require are available near San Pedro CA before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask veterinary prospects is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a vet assistant, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best Veterinary Assistant School near San Pedro CA
Choosing the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech school is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about veterinary assistant or tech programs need to make their selection based on multiple key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in San Pedro CA.
A Little Bit About San Pedro CA
San Pedro, Los Angeles
San Pedro /sænˈpiːdroʊ/ is a community within the city of Los Angeles, California. Formerly a separate city, it consolidated with Los Angeles in 1909. The Port of Los Angeles, a major international seaport, is partially located within San Pedro. The district has grown from being dominated by the fishing industry to become primarily a working class community within the city of Los Angeles.
The site, at the southern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, on the west side of San Pedro Bay, was used by Spanish ships starting in the 1540s. The peninsula, including all of San Pedro, was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieleño Native American people for thousands of years. In other areas of the Los Angeles Basin archeological sites date back 8,000–15,000 years. The Tongva believe they have been here since the beginning of time. Once called the "lords of the ocean", due to their mastery of oceangoing canoes (Ti'ats), many Tongva villages covered the coastline. Their first contact with Europeans in 1542 with Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the Portuguese explorer who also was the first to write of them. Chowigna and Suangna were two Tongva settlements of many in the peninsula area, which was also a departure point for their rancherias on the Channel Islands. Legend has it that the Native Americans blessed the land of Palos Verdes, making it the most beautiful place on Earth. The Tongva called the San Pedro area "Chaaw".
San Pedro was named for St. Peter of Alexandria, a fourth-century bishop in Alexandria, Egypt. His feast day is November 24 on the local ecclesiastical calendar of Spain, the day on which Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo discovered the bay in 1542 which would be known as San Pedro. Santa Catalina Island, named after Catherine of Alexandria, was claimed for the Spanish Empire the next day, on her feast day, November 25. In 1602–1603, Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548–1624) officially surveyed and mapped the California coastline, including San Pedro Bay, for New Spain. The anglicized pronunciation, popularized by the English-speaking people of Midwestern America, is "san-PEE-dro".
More Cities of Interest in California