Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools Lafayette CA

How to Pick a Vet Tech Program near Lafayette California

Lafayette CA vet tech diagnosing puppyAchieving your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Lafayette CA might at first feel like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a college that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their homes. When they have identified some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important factors when evaluating veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the different duties of vet techs and the training options available.

The Job of a Vet Tech in Lafayette CA 

cat with cone after surgery in Lafayette CAAmong the first decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of functions that they can carry out within the Lafayette CA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.

  • Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared with assistants and generally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction 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 possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.

Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Lafayette CA labs or research facilities as well.

Vet Tech Online Programs Offered in Lafayette

student attending online vet tech school in Lafayette CAAn option that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian school is to enroll in an online training program. Since 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 methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Lafayette CA veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, such as for travel and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online vet tech program may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Lafayette CA Vet Tech Programs

Questions to ask Lafayette CA vet tech schoolsAt this point you probably have decided on which veterinary degree that you wish to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Lafayette CA area and across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Lafayette CA area vet clinics and hospitals.

What is the Program’s Reputation?  The veterinarian trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the California school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Lafayette CA veterinarians that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The best way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with Lafayette CA veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local vet community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.

Is Job Placement Offered?  Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate could suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may indicate that the school has an excellent reputation within the Lafayette CA veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Lafayette CA schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. 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 methods of teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Lafayette CA home, you need to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it’s essential that you determine if the veterinarian colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate 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 near Lafayette CA. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near Lafayette CA?

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

Lafayette, California

Lafayette (formerly, La Fayette)[8] is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. As of 2011, the city's population was estimated to be 24,285. It was named after the Marquis de La Fayette, a French military hero of the American Revolutionary War. Today Lafayette is known for its pastoral rolling hills, good schools, and wealthy inhabitants. In 2016, the median household income in Lafayette was over $140,000, more than twice the statewide average and about two and half times the national median.[9]

Before the colonization of the region by Spain, Lafayette and its vicinity were inhabited by the Saclan tribe of the indigenous Bay Miwok. Ohlone also populated some of the areas along Lafayette Creek.[10] The indigenous inhabitants' first contact with Europeans was in the late 18th century with the founding of Catholic missions in the region. These initial contacts developed into conflict, with years of armed struggle, including a battle on what is currently Lafayette soil in 1797 between the Saclan and the Spanish, and eventually resulting in the subjugation of the native population.

Most of what is currently Lafayette was given as a Mexican land grant, Rancho Acalanes to Candelario Valencia in 1834. The name Acalanes seems to have come from the name of a native village in the area, Ahala-n.[11]

Pick the Ideal Vet Tech College near Lafayette CA

Lafayette CA vet tech holding dogEnrolling in the right veterinary technician program is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Students thinking about veterinary technician programs need to make their selection based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Lafayette CA.

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