Vet Technician School
How to Pick the Right One Near Alexander City Alabama
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Alexander City AL to achieve your lifelong desire to help and care for animals may initially feel like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. And in order to pick the best one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. When checking out vet tech schools, many potential students start by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes. After they have found some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant factors when assessing vet technician programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated also. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are evaluating. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the varied duties of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Technician Degree Options
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Alexander City AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and generally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Alexander City AL laboratories or research facilities also.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian degree that you wish to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Alexander City AL area as well as across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously 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 an extensive review process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Alexander City AL area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Alexander City AL veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with Alexander City AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate may suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Alexander City AL veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Alexander City AL programs you are considering what their class 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. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Alexander City AL home, you must make certain that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located in or close by a large city. Also, 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 charges especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary colleges 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 go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Alexander City AL. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to work, sickness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Alexander City Vet Technologist College
Selecting the ideal vet tech college is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students considering vet tech schools must make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating 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 accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Alexander City Alabama.