Veterinary Technician Training
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Atmore Alabama
Finding a veterinary technician school near Atmore AL to fulfill your heartfelt desire to work with and provide medical treatment for our pets might initially seem like an enormous task. But in order to succeed as a practicing veterinary technician, you need to first locate and finally enroll in a program that will provide the required education and training. But just how do you tackle assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the proper choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their homes. When they have located some local colleges, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician programs you are considering before you make a final decision. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over 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 Education Options
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many functions that they can perform within the Atmore AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through 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 completion of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared with assistants and generally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. So the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased 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 urgent care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Atmore AL labs or research facilities also.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian degree that you would like to earn, 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 Atmore AL area and across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for a number of Atmore AL area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Atmore AL veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with Atmore AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate could signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the school has an excellent reputation within the Atmore AL vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Atmore AL colleges you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Atmore AL home, you have to confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's imperative that you ascertain if the vet colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Atmore AL. Some may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Atmore Vet Technologist School
Picking the appropriate vet tech program is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering veterinary technician programs need to make their decision based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the ideal program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Atmore Alabama.