Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools Barstow CA

How to Choose a Veterinary Technician Program near Barstow California

Barstow CA vet tech diagnosing puppyRealizing your lifelong goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Barstow CA could at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. Once they have located some local schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when evaluating vet tech programs, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary technician programs you are looking at before you make a final selection. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the varied duties of vet techs and the training options available.

The Role of a Vet Tech in Barstow CA 

cat with cone after surgery in Barstow CAAmong the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Barstow CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. 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 involved with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and generally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years. So the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.

Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Barstow CA laboratories or research facilities also.

Veterinary Technician Online Programs Offered in Barstow

student attending online vet tech school in Barstow CAAn approach that may make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Barstow CA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, such as for traveling and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary technician program may be the perfect choice for you.

Things to Ask Barstow CA Veterinary Technician Programs

Questions to ask Barstow CA vet tech schoolsBy now you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Barstow CA area and across the Country, you should ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are considering.

Is the Vet Program Accredited?  It’s imperative that you verify that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for many Barstow CA area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the College’s Reputation?  The vet trade school or college and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Barstow CA vet clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective way to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with Barstow CA veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local vet community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate may mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of 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 may indicate that the program has an excellent reputation within the Barstow CA veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement 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 personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Barstow CA programs you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Yes, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Barstow CA home, you need to confirm that the commuting time fits into 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 campus is located in or close by a larger 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 particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it’s important that you find out if the veterinary programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible 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 near Barstow CA. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family issues. You might find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your active life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near Barstow CA?

If you have decided to attend a Veterinary Technician Program in the Barstow California area, then you may find the following information about the location of your school campus interesting and informing.

Barstow, California

Barstow is a major transportation center for the Inland Empire. Several major highways including Interstate 15, Interstate 40, California State Route 58, and U.S. Route 66 converge in the city. It is the site of a large rail classification yard, belonging to the BNSF Railway. The Union Pacific Railroad also runs through town using trackage rights on BNSF's main line to Daggett 10 miles (16 km) east, from where it heads to Salt Lake City and the BNSF heads to Chicago. Barstow is about 15 miles (24 km) from Yermo, 30 miles (48 km) from Victorville, 62 miles (100 km) from Baker, California and 114 miles (183 km) from Primm, Nevada. Barstow serves as a midway point for drivers traveling between Los Angeles, California (120 miles (190 km) southwest) and Las Vegas, Nevada (150 miles (240 km) northeast).

The settlement of Barstow began in the late 1830s in the Mormon Corridor. Every fall and winter, as the weather cooled, the rain produced new grass growth and replenished the water sources in the Mojave Desert. People, goods and animal herds would move from New Mexico and later Utah to Los Angeles, along the Old Spanish Trail from Santa Fe, or after 1848, on the Mormon Road from Salt Lake City. Trains of freight wagons traveled back to Salt Lake City and other points in the interior. These travelers followed the course of the Mojave River, watering and camping at Fish Ponds on its south bank (west of Nebo Center) or 3.625 miles up river on the north bank, at a riverside grove of willows and cottonwoods, festooned with wild grapes, called Grapevines (later the site of North Barstow). In 1859, the Mojave Road followed a route was established from Los Angeles to Fort Mojave through Grapevines that linked eastward with the Beale Wagon Road across northern New Mexico Territory to Santa Fe.

Indian troubles with the Paiute, Mojave and Chemehuevi tribes followed and from 1860 Camp Cady, a U.S. Army post 20 miles (32 km) east of Barstow, was occupied sporadically until 1864, then permanently, by soldiers occupying other posts on the Mojave Road or patrolling in the region until 1871.[15] Trading posts were established at Grapevines and Fish Ponds that supplied travelers on the roads and increasingly the miners that came into the Mohave Desert after the end of hostilities with the native people.[16]

Enroll in the Right Veterinary Technician College near Barstow CA

Barstow CA vet tech holding dogPicking the ideal vet tech school is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary technician colleges need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided 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 ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Barstow CA.

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