How to Choose a Vet Tech School near Stevenson Ranch California
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet college near Stevenson Ranch CA could initially seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you must find and enroll in a college that will deliver the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. After they have located some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering 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 various roles of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you want 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 education, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of jobs that they can perform within the Stevenson Ranch CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Stevenson Ranch CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years. Therefore 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 job opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Stevenson Ranch CA area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Training Classes
An option that may make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Stevenson Ranch CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Training Programs
By now you should have selected which veterinarian certificate or degree that you want to earn, 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 Country, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the Stevenson Ranch CA veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the vet technician or assistant college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for a number of Stevenson Ranch CA veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips 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 regarding your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Stevenson Ranch CA veterinarians that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Stevenson Ranch CA vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician program can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate may indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could signify that the Stevenson Ranch CA program has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Stevenson Ranch CA colleges you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from home or work, you need to confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Stevenson Ranch CA campus is located near or in a large 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 increased tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important that you ascertain if the California veterinarian colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered near Stevenson Ranch CA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Veterinary Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a vet assistant, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain 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 enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Vet Technician Program near Stevenson Ranch CA
Enrolling in the right veterinary assistant or tech program is an important first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Future students looking into vet assistant or tech programs need to make their determination based on several key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions included 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 best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Stevenson Ranch CA.
A Little Bit About Stevenson Ranch CA
Stevenson Ranch, California
Stevenson Ranch is a census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California. The community is located in the Santa Clarita Valley. Often incorrectly referred to as part of the city of Santa Clarita, the community does not actually fall within the Santa Clarita city limits and is instead in an unincorporated area. It has many new suburban one- and two-story houses in new developments, with a median value of $1,034,600. Stevenson Ranch encompasses about 6.4 square miles (17 km2). About 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) are set aside as parks, recreation areas, and open space. Stevenson Ranch is set in the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains and lies west of Interstate 5. One of the newer communities in the Santa Clarita, which was ranked number 18 of the top 100 places to live by Money Magazine in 2006, This area backs up to the historic, oil-mining town of Mentryville, founded in 1875. A master-planned community, it was approved by the county in 1987. The population was 17,557 at the time of the 2010 census.
It is home to the award winning California Distinguished and National Blue Ribbon Schools Stevenson Ranch Elementary, Pico Canyon Elementary, Rancho Pico Junior High, and West Ranch High School, The Valencia Marketplace and Stevenson Ranch Shopping Center are popular shopping areas in the community. Six Flags Magic Mountain, an amusement park, is located about three miles north of the community.
The names of many streets located in Stevenson Ranch are those of famous authors (e.g., Thackeray).
More Cities of Interest in California