How to Choose a Vet Assistant Training near South Pasadena California
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near South Pasadena CA may initially seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and contrasting schools so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. After they have identified some area schools, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the different roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many duties that they can perform within the South Pasadena CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near South Pasadena CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary 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 involved in more involved activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years. So 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 work opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or South Pasadena CA area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian 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 program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at an area South Pasadena CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for example for traveling and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Colleges
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California and across the United States, you should ask some important questions to help narrow down 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 touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the South Pasadena CA veterinary assistant and tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the vet tech or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone 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 many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of South Pasadena CA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some South Pasadena CA veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local South Pasadena CA veterinary community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate could suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could signify that the South Pasadena CA school has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not well 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 receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the South Pasadena CA schools you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from home or work, you must confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the South Pasadena CA school is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s essential that you determine if the California veterinarian schools you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near South Pasadena CA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Vet Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a veterinary technician, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Select the Best Veterinary Technologist Training Program near South Pasadena CA
Selecting the right vet assistant or tech college is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their determination based on several key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in South Pasadena CA.
A Little Bit About South Pasadena CA
Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States.
The estimated population of Pasadena was 139,731, in 2013, making it the 183rd-largest city in the United States. Pasadena is the ninth-largest city in Los Angeles County. Pasadena was incorporated on June 19, 1886, becoming one of the first cities to be incorporated in what is now Los Angeles County, following the city of Los Angeles (April 4, 1850). It is one of the primary cultural centers of the San Gabriel Valley.
The city is known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses parade. In addition, Pasadena is also home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including Caltech, JPL,Pasadena City College, Fuller Theological Seminary, ArtCenter College of Design, the Pasadena Playhouse, the Norton Simon Museum and the USC Pacific Asia Museum.
More Cities of Interest in California