How to Find the Right Vet Tech School near Stanford California
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet school near Stanford CA might at first seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a college that will deliver the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the best selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. After they have located some area schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the varied duties of vet techs and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
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 might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many functions that they can perform within the Stanford CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Stanford CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared with assistants and generally obtain a 2 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 general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Stanford CA area research facilities also.
Vet Online Schools
An alternative that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Stanford CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for travel and study supplies, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Degree Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in California as well as across the USA, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Stanford CA vet assistant and technician schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the vet tech or assistant program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Stanford CA vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement 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 regarding your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Stanford CA veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to get practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Stanford CA veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant college can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the Stanford CA college has an excellent reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean 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 larger sized, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Stanford CA colleges you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak 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 few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from work or home, you need to make certain that the commuting 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, particularly if the Stanford CA college is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the California vet programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near Stanford CA before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Veterinary Assistant College near Stanford CA
Selecting the right vet technician college is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students considering veterinary assistant or tech colleges must make their selection based on multiple key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the right school, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Stanford CA.
A Little Bit About Stanford CA
Stanford is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Clara County, California, United States and is the home of Stanford University. The population was 13,809 at the 2010 census, with a daily population of 35,000.
Stanford is an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County and is adjacent to the city of Palo Alto. Stanford, California is a valid postal address, and has its own post office and ZIP codes: 94305 (campus buildings) and 94309 (post-office boxes). A popular landmark is the Dish.
Most of the Stanford University campus and other core University owned land is situated within the census-designated place of Stanford though the Stanford University Medical Center, the Stanford Shopping Center, and the Stanford Research Park are officially part of the city of Palo Alto. Its resident population consists of the inhabitants of on-campus housing, including graduate student residences and single-family homes and condominium owned by their faculty inhabitants but located on leased Stanford land. A residential neighborhood adjacent to the Stanford campus, College Terrace, featuring streets named after universities and colleges, including Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard and Princeton, is neither part of the Stanford CDP nor owned by the University but is part of Palo Alto.
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