Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools La Mirada CA

How to Select a Vet Tech School near La Mirada California

La Mirada CA vet tech diagnosing puppyFulfilling your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near La Mirada CA may initially seem like a daunting task. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the proper selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. After they have located some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician schools you are reviewing before you make a final choice. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the various responsibilities of vet techs and the training options offered.

The Job of a Veterinary Technician in La Mirada CA 

cat with cone after surgery in La Mirada CAOne of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the La Mirada CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and usually earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.

Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  La Mirada CA labs or research facilities as well.

Vet Tech Online Schools Offered in La Mirada

student attending online vet tech school in La Mirada CAAn alternative that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local La Mirada CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for example for travel and study supplies, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online vet tech school may be the perfect option for you.

Questions to Ask La Mirada CA Veterinary Technician Schools

Questions to ask La Mirada CA vet tech schoolsAt this point you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the La Mirada CA area and across the USA, you should ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are considering.

Is the Veterinary College Accredited?  It’s imperative that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously 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 screening process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for a number of La Mirada CA area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.

What is the College’s Reputation?  The veterinarian trade school or college and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final recommendation, phone some La Mirada CA vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The best way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with La Mirada CA veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate may suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the school has an excellent reputation within the La Mirada CA veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger in size, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the La Mirada CA schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your La Mirada CA home, you must make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the school is located near or in a large city. Also, 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 charges especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the veterinary programs you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate 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 near La Mirada CA. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family issues. You might find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your active life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near La Mirada CA?

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

La Mirada, California

La Mirada is a city in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is one of the Gateway Cities.[10][11] The population was 48,527 at the 2010 census, up from 46,783 at the 2000 census. In 2006, the city of La Mirada was listed on CNN Money Magazine's "Best Place to Live" list. La Mirada placed 34th on the list, with the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center as two of its main attributes.[12] It is also the home of Biola University, an evangelical Christian institution of higher education.

La Mirada (Spanish for the look)[13] was the creation of two men, Andrew McNally, a printer and mapmaker from Chicago (see Rand McNally) and his son-in-law Edwin Neff. In 1888, McNally purchased over 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) of Rancho Los Coyotes,[14] south of Whittier, for $200,000. He developed 700 acres (2.8 km2) into his own home called Windermere Ranch and surrounded it with olive, orange and lemon groves. McNally built a plant to process the olive oil, which was of the best quality, as well as a railroad station on Stage Road. From here his olive oil and fruit were shipped all over the U.S.

In 1896, McNally turned his property over to his daughter and his son in law. McNally and Neff formed the La Mirada Land Company, which published a booklet entitled "The Country Gentleman in California", advertising parcels of land for sale including pictures, a map and descriptions of the scenic olive, alfalfa, lemon and grapefruit groves.

Pick the Ideal Veterinary Technician Program near La Mirada CA

La Mirada CA vet tech holding dogSelecting the right vet tech college is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for animals. Future students thinking about vet tech programs need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals 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 online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in La Mirada CA.

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