Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Find the Right One Near Athens Alabama
Realizing your long term goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet tech college near Athens AL might initially seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. And so that you pick the best one you must research and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. When checking out vet tech schools, many potential students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes. Once they have found some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when assessing vet technician programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered as well. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you need to complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the programs you are assessing. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the various duties of vet techs and the training options offered.
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Vet Tech Training Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of functions that they can carry out within the Athens AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice 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 techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training in contrast to assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Athens AL laboratories or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian degree that you would like to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Athens AL area and across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to choose a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician schools that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's important that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for many Athens AL area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Athens AL vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with Athens AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A low rate might signify that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the college has an excellent reputation within the Athens AL veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Athens AL schools you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Athens 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's imperative that you ascertain if the vet schools you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible 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 at night near Athens AL. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Chosse the Best Athens Veterinary Technologist School
Selecting the appropriate vet tech school is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students thinking about vet tech schools need to make their selection based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Athens Alabama.