Vet Tech Schools near San Rafael CA 94901

How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant College near San Rafael California

San Rafael CA vet tech holding dog during examRealizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near San Rafael CA might initially feel like a daunting endeavor. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle analyzing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their residences. When they have found some local schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant considerations 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 considered also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the varied roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.

The Role of a Vet Tech and Assistant

San Rafael CA vet assistant taking vital signs of puppyOne of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous jobs that they can perform within the San Rafael CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each position.

  • 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 completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near San Rafael CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared with assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.

Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or San Rafael CA area research facilities as well.

Veterinarian Online Training Programs

attending vet tech school online in San Rafael CAAn approach that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area San Rafael CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, such as for travel and study materials, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Degree Programs

cat wearing cone after vet surgery in San Rafael CABy now you should have decided on which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California and across the USA, you should ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the San Rafael CA veterinary assistant and technician programs that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary School Accredited?  It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet assistant or technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough review process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of San Rafael CA vet practices and hospitals.

What is the Program’s Reputation?  The vet vocational school or college and program you choose must have an excellent 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 assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact some San Rafael CA veterinarians that you may want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop connections in the local San Rafael CA vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.

Is there a Job Placement Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician school may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the San Rafael CA school has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate 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 one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the San Rafael CA programs you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you must make certain 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 San Rafael CA college is located in or close by a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it’s important that you determine if the California vet schools you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available near San Rafael CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.

Why Did You Desire to Be a Veterinary Technician?

When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What compelled you to pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.

Pick the Right Veterinary Tech Degree Program near San Rafael CA

Selecting the right veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant programs need to make their determination based on several key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, 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 reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the ideal school, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in San Rafael CA.

A Little Bit About San Rafael CA

San Rafael, California

San Rafael (/ˌsæn rəˈfɛl/ SAN rə-FEL; Spanish pronunciation: [san rafaˈel] "Saint Raphael") is a city and the county seat of Marin County, California, United States. The city is located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. As of the 2010 census the city's population is 57,713.

What is now San Rafael was once the site of several Coast Miwok villages; Awani-wi, near downtown San Rafael, Ewu, near Terra Linda, and Shotomko-cha, in Marinwood.[10]Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in what is now downtown San Rafael as the 20th Spanish mission in the colonial Mexican province of Alta California by three priests—Father Narciso Durán from Mission San José, Father Abella from Mission San Francisco de Asís, Father Luis Gíl y Taboada from La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles—on Dec. 14, 1817, four years before Mexico gained independence from Spain. Mission San Rafael Arcángel was located a donkey's day walk to the mission below it. The mission and the city are named after the Archangel Raphael, the Angel of Healing.

The mission was originally planned as a hospital site for Central Valley American Indians who had become ill at the cold San Francisco Mission Dolores. Father Luis Gil, who spoke several Native American languages, was put in charge of the facility. In part because of its ideal weather, San Rafael was later upgraded to full mission status in 1822. The mission had 300 converts within its first year, and 1,140 converts by 1828. The Mexican government took over the California missions in 1834, and Mission San Rafael was abandoned in 1844, eventually falling into ruin. The current mission was built in 1949 in the style of the original, but faces at right angles to the alignment of the original.

 

 

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