How to Pick a Vet Assistant Program near Santa Ana California
Achieving your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary program near Santa Ana CA could at first feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you must locate and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing programs so that you can make the ideal choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. After they have found some local colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the various duties of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Role of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many tasks that they can perform within the Santa Ana CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Santa Ana CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training in contrast to assistants and typically obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Santa Ana CA area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinarian Courses
An alternative that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Santa Ana CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for travel and study materials, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. 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 mode, an online veterinary technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Degree Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California as well as across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the Santa Ana CA veterinary assistant and technician schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the veterinary assistant or technician school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Santa Ana CA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final pointer, contact some Santa Ana CA veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local Santa Ana CA vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate may mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the Santa Ana CA college has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Santa Ana CA colleges you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet technician classes from home or work, you must make certain 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, especially if the Santa Ana CA college is located in or near a large city. Also, 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 fees particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the California vet programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered near Santa Ana CA before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online program is the best way to fit your vet education into your active life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Vet Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a veterinary technician, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Vet Tech Training Program near Santa Ana CA
Selecting the appropriate vet technician program is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students considering vet tech or assistant programs need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Veterinary 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 animals when 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 applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the right college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Santa Ana CA.
A Little Bit About Santa Ana CA
Santa Ana, California
Santa Ana /ˌsæntə ˈænə/ (Spanish for "Saint Anne") is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2011 population at 329,427, making Santa Ana the 57th most-populous city in the United States.
Santa Ana is located in Southern California, adjacent to the Santa Ana River, about 10 miles (16 km) away from the California coast. Founded in 1869, the city is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second largest metropolitan area in the United States with almost 18 million residents in 2010. Santa Ana is a very densely populated city, ranking fourth nationally in that regard among cities of over 300,000 residents (trailing only New York City, San Francisco, and Boston). In 2011 Forbes ranked Santa Ana the fourth-safest city of over 250,000 residents in the United States.
Santa Ana lends its name to the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5), which runs through the city. It also shares its name with the nearby Santa Ana Mountains, and the Santa Ana winds, which have historically fueled seasonal wildfires throughout Southern California. The current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) metropolitan designation for the Orange County Area is Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, California.
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