Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools Lancaster CA

How to Choose a Vet Tech School near Lancaster California

Lancaster CA vet tech diagnosing puppyFulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Lancaster CA may initially feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a school that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle assessing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. After they have identified some local schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when assessing veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final decision. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the various roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.

The Function of a Vet Tech in Lancaster CA 

cat with cone after surgery in Lancaster CAAmong the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Lancaster 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 vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.

  • Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved 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 controlling animals during exams.
  • Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and usually earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated functions, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.

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

Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered in Lancaster

student attending online vet tech school in Lancaster CAAn option that might make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinary 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 accessible. The educational program is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Lancaster CA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary technician school may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Lancaster CA Vet Tech Programs

Questions to ask Lancaster CA vet tech schoolsBy now you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Lancaster CA area and across the USA, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.

Is the Veterinary Program Accredited?  It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary technician college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. 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 thorough screening process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for many Lancaster CA area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the College’s Reputation?  The veterinary vocational school or college and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Lancaster CA 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 recommend one or more colleges not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Lancaster CA veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local veterinary community and help in the search for a position after graduation.

Is there a Job Placement Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate might mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Lancaster CA vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Lancaster CA programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications 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 subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Lancaster CA home, you have to confirm 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it’s important that you find out if the veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Lancaster CA. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near Lancaster CA?

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

Lancaster, California

Lancaster /ˈlæn.kæstər/ is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. As of 2013, Lancaster was the 31st largest city in California. Lancaster is part of a twin city complex with its southern neighbor Palmdale and together they are the principal cities within the Antelope Valley region.[citation needed]

Lancaster is located approximately 61 miles (98 km) north (by highway) of downtown Los Angeles, near the Kern County line. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the San Gabriel Mountains to the south, and from Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley by the Tehachapi Mountains to the north. The population of Lancaster grew from 37,000 at the time of its incorporation in 1977 to over 156,000 in 2010. According to the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance report of 2015, Lancaster has a population of 168,049.[8]

The area where Lancaster is now located, known as the Antelope Valley, was originally home to the Paiute Indians. Lancaster's origins as a settlement start with the Southern Pacific Railroad, which is believed to first use the name Lancaster, where a station house, locomotive watering facilities and section gang housing were built when the railroad laid track through the town's future location. In 1876 the Southern Pacific completed the line through the Antelope Valley,[9] linking San Francisco and Los Angeles. The origin of Lancaster's name is unclear, attributed variously to the surname of a railroad station clerk, the moniker given by railroad officials, or the former Pennsylvania home (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) of unknown settlers. Train service brought passengers through the water-stop-turned-community, which, with the help of promotional literature, attracted new settlers. The person credited with formally developing the town is Moses Langley Wicks, who in 1884 bought property from the railroad for $2.50 per acre, mapped out a town with streets and lots, and by September was advertising 160-acre tracts of land for $6 an acre. The following year, the Lancaster News started publication, making it the first weekly newspaper in the Antelope Valley. By 1890, Lancaster was bustling and booming, and thanks to adequate rainfall, farmers planted and sold thousands of acres of wheat and barley.

Select the Right Veterinary Technician Program near Lancaster CA

Lancaster CA vet tech holding dogEnrolling in the appropriate vet tech program is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students looking into veterinary technician programs must make their determination based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians 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 covered, it’s essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Lancaster CA.

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