Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools Marina Del Rey CA

How to Select a Vet Tech School near Marina Del Rey California

Marina Del Rey CA vet tech diagnosing puppyFulfilling your long term dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech school near Marina Del Rey CA may at first feel like a daunting endeavor. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a college that will provide the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their residences. When they have identified some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the varied roles of veterinary technicians and the training options available.

The Responsibilities of a Vet Tech in Marina Del Rey CA 

cat with cone after surgery in Marina Del Rey CAAmong the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Marina Del Rey CA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for example 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 undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and generally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.

Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Marina Del Rey CA labs or research facilities as well.

Vet Tech Online Programs Offered in Marina Del Rey

student attending online vet tech school in Marina Del Rey CAAn option that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Marina Del Rey CA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for traveling and study materials, can be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary technician program may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Marina Del Rey CA Vet Tech Colleges

Questions to ask Marina Del Rey CA vet tech schoolsAt this point you should have selected which veterinarian degree that you want to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Marina Del Rey CA area and across the Country, you should ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to choose a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are reviewing.

Is the Veterinary School Accredited?  It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. 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 undergone a demanding review process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Marina Del Rey CA area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the School’s Reputation?  The veterinary college or vocational school and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the California school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final tip, phone some Marina Del Rey CA vet clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Marina Del Rey CA veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Placement Provided?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate may signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. 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 college has an excellent reputation within the Marina Del Rey CA vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate 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 may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Marina Del Rey CA schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Marina Del Rey CA home, you have to make certain that the driving 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 college is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the vet schools you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Marina Del Rey CA. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your active life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near Marina Del Rey CA?

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

Marina del Rey, California

Marina del Rey is an unincorporated seaside community in Los Angeles County, California, United States with a marina that is a major boating and water recreation destination of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The marina is North America's largest man-made small-craft harbor and is home to approximately 5,000 boats. The area is a popular tourism destination for water activities such as paddle board and kayak rentals, dining cruises, and yacht charters. This Westside locale is approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Santa Monica, and 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Los Angeles International Airport.

The harbor is owned by Los Angeles County and is operated by the County's Department of Beaches and Harbors. The population was 8,866 at the 2010 census. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Marina del Rey as a census-designated place (CDP).[3] The census definition of the area may not precisely correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name. The Los Angeles Times said in a 1997 editorial that the harbor is "perhaps the county's most valuable resource".[4]

Prior to its development as a small craft harbor, the land occupied by Marina del Rey was a salt-marsh fed by fresh water from Ballona Creek, frequented by duck hunters and few others. Burton W. Chace, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, referred to the area as mud flats, though today the area would more properly be referred to as wetlands.

Select the Right Vet Tech Program near Marina Del Rey CA

Marina Del Rey CA vet tech holding dogPicking the ideal veterinary technician school is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students thinking about vet tech programs must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Marina Del Rey CA.

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