How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant Program near Sunnyvale California
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Sunnyvale CA might at first feel like a daunting task. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a school that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. After they have found some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the various duties of vet assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Job of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of tasks that they can carry out within the Sunnyvale CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each position.
- 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 finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Sunnyvale CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and generally acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years. Therefore the main 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 options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Sunnyvale CA area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Programs
An approach that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered through the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Sunnyvale CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for travel and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more standard classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you choose 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 tech or assistant school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Degree Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you want to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in California and across the United States, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Sunnyvale CA vet assistant and tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the veterinary technician or assistant school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a requirement for employment for many Sunnyvale CA veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include checking with online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final pointer, get in touch with some Sunnyvale CA veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to get practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Sunnyvale CA veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant school can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate could suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the Sunnyvale CA college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Sunnyvale CA colleges you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you must make sure 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 Sunnyvale CA campus is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in 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, attending classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s essential that you ascertain if the California veterinarian programs you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available near Sunnyvale CA before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to sickness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a career?". 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 skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Vet Technician Training Program near Sunnyvale CA
Selecting the right veterinary assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Students thinking about vet assistant or tech schools must make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. 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 options so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the best college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Sunnyvale CA.
A Little Bit About Sunnyvale CA
Sunnyvale (/ˈsʌniveɪl/ or /ˈsʌnivəl/) is a city located in Santa Clara County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 140,095.
Sunnyvale is the seventh most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area and one of the major cities comprising Silicon Valley. It is bordered by portions of San Jose to the north, Moffett Federal Airfield to the northwest, Mountain View to the west, Los Altos to the southwest, Cupertino to the south, and Santa Clara to the east. It lies along the historic El Camino Real and Highway 101.
As part of California's high-tech area known as Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale is the headquarters location of many technology companies and is a major operating center for many more. It is also home to several aerospace/defense companies. Sunnyvale was also the home to Onizuka Air Force Station, often referred to as "the Blue Cube" due to the color and shape of its windowless main building. The facility, previously known as Sunnyvale Air Force Station, was named for the deceased Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka. It served as an artificial satellite control facility of the United States armed forces until August 2010 and has since been decommissioned and demolished.
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