We sat down with the Veterinary Assistant teacher here at the American College of Healthcare and Technology to better understand our program. Our program is an 8-month program at the Riverside and Huntington Park locations of the school where you will learn in the classroom as well as the lab by taking vital signs, administering medication, surgery prep, general front office work and many other things as well.
What got you into teaching? “I got into teaching on accident. A friend helped me get into it from a friend who told me about a night class they were offering. I enjoy teaching because of the excitement I get to see on my student’s faces. It’s good to know that you are putting people into the field that are interested in working with animals.”
Besides the curriculum, what are you trying to teach your students? “Confidence. You need it in everyday life when you are talking to somebody or filling out a job application, but you need it when dealing with animals because you have to be confident that you are handling the animal correctly. If you do not have confidence in dealing with the pet, it will show. Whatever energy you are giving off the animal is going to feed off of that. Working in the lab, students get hands-on with animals and can gain their confidence with working with animals there.”
What is the most interesting animal to work with?” “All of the animals are interesting. It just depends on what is going on with the animal. They all bring their own unique cases with them, that’s why I encourage people to bring their animals to class here at ACHT. It shows them that one puppy is not going to be the same as another and they learn that not all animals, even of the same breed are not identical. Even with cats and dogs, sometimes there will be no difference besides physiological differences, or they could be complete opposites of each other. All the animals are interesting whether it is an exotic animal a pocket pet or even a dog or a cat.”
What makes your program stand out? “We get to work with live animals here at American College of Healthcare and Technology. We have to teach a lot about body language. The other programs you are actually talking to your patients, you can get history from them and they can tell you what is wrong, it is not the same with animals. With animals, you have to go off subjective things that the client is telling you. You have to play an investigation game to find out the exact spot of the pain or the signs of discomfort. If you miss a clue it is the difference between diagnosing the right problem, or the wrong one.”
Why should a prospective student choose your program? “That it is not just puppies and kittens, and we deal with a lot of serious topics. It can be a dirty job, but it is also very fun and very rewarding. It never gets boring. In some of the other programs you are focused on just one or two things, we do everything, x-ray, surgical techs, receptionists, nursing assistants, we do everything it is not just working in the front office or working with pets veterinary assistants do a bit of everything.”
What can students expect on externship? ”Externships matter a lot on where they go. What facility they go to will determine a lot of what goes on because a lot of it depends on what the doctor wants and no two doctors are the same. I teach them essentials, but it is really up to the student to adapt to the office or facility they go to. I try and teach the extremes of how doctors can be so the students know what to expect. Students will be doing nursing care, administering medications, assisting with treatments, and reviewing diagnostics. They may even view some surgeries.”
What tip can you give to your students to make them better? “Practice, practice, practice. That and to be honest with themselves and if they are not understanding something to not be afraid to ask for more practice in what they may be struggling in. They need to ask about things while in the classroom and in the lab. You have to be confident in yourself too.”
What is in the field students may not know of? “Students probably will not be expecting how many different things is part of being an assistant. Being an assistant does not just involve working with animals, it includes working in the front office, prepping for surgery, dealing with pet owners and many other things. Being a veterinary assistant has many things in it.”
For any additional information, visit us online at www.ach.edu or call us at (951) 729-5320 or (323) 585-9000
American College of Healthcare and Technology has two convenient locations.
Our Huntington Park offers the follow programs: Medical Assistant, Medical Billing & Coding, Veterinary Assistant, and Massage Therapy & Physical Therapy Aide.
Our Huntington Park campus proudly serves the following communities: Bell, Bell Gardens, Compton, Southgate, Los Angeles, Vernon, Maywood, Cudahy, Florence, South Central LA, Watts, Lynwood, City of industry, Lawndale, Paramount, Inglewood, Commerce, Downy, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, Carson, Long Beach, Bellflower, Pico Rivera, Montebello, Whittier, Gardena, Hawthorne, El Monte, La Puente, Monterrey Park.
Our Riverside campus offers the following programs: Medical Assistant, Medical Billing & Coding, Veterinary Assistant, Massage Therapy & Physical Therapy Aide, Dental Assistant, Surgical Technology, and Pharmacy Technician.
Our Riverside campus proudly serves the following communities: Corona, Moreno Valley, Norco, Lake Elsinore, Perris, La Sierra, Arlington, Jurupa Valley, Rialto, Pedley, Mira Loma, Rubidoux, Bloomington, Colton, San Bernardino, Redlands, Wildomar, Temecula, Murrieta, Loma Linda, Fontana, Grand Terrace, and Glen Avon.
11801 Pierce St., Suite 100
Riverside, California 92505
6606 Pacific Blvd, Suite 204
Huntington Park, California 90255