How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant College near Bothell Washington
Realizing your long term goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian college near Bothell WA may at first feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach reviewing and comparing schools so that you can make the ideal choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. When they have located some local colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated 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 in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the varied roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many functions that they can perform within the Bothell WA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Bothell WA. 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. A few of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training in contrast to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years. So 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 career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Bothell WA area research facilities as well.
Veterinarian Online Colleges
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Bothell WA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for example for traveling and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian certificate or degree 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, trade and vocational schools in Washington and across the United States, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a school 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 Bothell WA veterinary assistant and tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the veterinary assistant or tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough screening process that verifies you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Bothell WA veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with online school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Washington school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Bothell WA veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local Bothell WA veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate could indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the Bothell WA school has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Bothell WA programs you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from work or home, you must make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Bothell WA school is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s important that you ascertain if the Washington veterinary schools you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available near Bothell WA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies. You may find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet tech, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Veterinary Assistant Degree Program near Bothell WA
Selecting the ideal veterinary assistant or tech college is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students considering veterinary tech or assistant programs need to make their decision based on several key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet technician, assistant or technologist in Bothell WA.
A Little Bit About Bothell WA
Bothell (/ˈbɒθəl/ BOTH-əl) is a city located in King and Snohomish Counties in the State of Washington. It is part of the Seattle metropolitan area. Based on per capita income, Bothell ranks 78th of 614 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.
Prior to European settlement, the Sammamish River Valley from Lake Washington to Issaquah Creek south and upstream of Lake Sammamish was inhabited by a population of as many as 200 Native Americans known as the Sammamish. The Sammamish were relocated after the Puget Sound War in 1856 to reservations and non-reservation lands.
In 1870, Columbus S. Greenleaf and George R. Wilson filed land claims in the area formerly inhabited by the Sammamish near present-day Bothell, and built homes. Eight families followed over the next six years. In 1876, Canadian George Brackett bought land and began commercial logging out of a camp located on the north bank of the Sammamish River in what is now the heart of downtown Bothell. A store, school, and sawmill followed over the next several years.
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