How to Choose a Veterinary Assistant College near Victorville California
Fulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian college near Victorville CA might at first seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a school that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting programs so that you can make the right selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. When they have located some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the varied duties of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Function of a Vet Assistant and Tech
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Victorville CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Victorville CA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular functions 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 compared to assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex functions, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years. So the main distinction 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, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Victorville CA area research facilities as well.
Veterinarian Online Training Classes
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows 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 Victorville CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for example for travel and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school 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 comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Degree Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in California as well as across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, which include 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 Victorville CA veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the vet technician or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously 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 undergone a rigorous screening process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for many Victorville CA veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with internet school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Victorville CA veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Victorville CA veterinarian community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech school may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the Victorville CA college has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Victorville CA schools you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary tech classes from home or work, you must make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Victorville CA college is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s essential that you ascertain if the California veterinarian schools you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available near Victorville CA before enrolling. In addition, 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 school is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Vet Tech?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask veterinary candidates is "What made you pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to 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 abilities you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Vet Assistant Program near Victorville CA
Picking the right veterinary assistant or tech college is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students looking into vet tech or assistant programs need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Victorville CA.
A Little Bit About Victorville CA
Victorville is a city located in the Victor Valley of southwestern San Bernardino County, California. Its estimated population as of July 1, 2013 was 121,096.
In 1858, Aaron G. Lane came to what is now known as Victorville and founded a way station called "Lane's Crossing." For many years it provided shelter and supplies for people making the journey across the desert from the east to San Bernardino. Lane's Crossing was on the Mojave River on today's Turner Road, two miles north from where Interstate 15 crosses the river. Captain Lane was a veteran of the Mexican-American War who had suffered from malaria during that war. Originally he migrated west to join the California gold rush, but he learned that he could make a better living selling supplies to the miners.
He settled in Ione near Sutter's Mill in northern California during those years, but he migrated to San Bernardino in 1857. He settled on the Mojave River in 1858, where he established his way station. He later sold out to Texan John Fry Miller, who changed the name of Lane's Crossing to Pioneer Station. Miller was a rancher and became involved in Mojave Valley politics, setting up the first polling place in the area at his home. That first year, ten citizens cast their votes at Lane's residence, rather than making the long trip to San Bernardino.
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