Veterinary Technician Degree
How to Pick the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech college near Auburn AL might initially feel like an overwhelming task. But in order to succeed as a practicing veterinary technician, you must first locate and finally enroll in a school that will provide the necessary education and training. But just how do you approach assessing and contrasting schools so that you can make the ideal selection? When checking out vet tech programs, many potential students begin by targeting those that are closest to their homes. After they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated also. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the schools you are assessing. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the different responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
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Vet Technician Training Options
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Auburn AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared with assistants and usually acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. So 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 work options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Auburn AL laboratories or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Vet Tech Schools
By now you should have determined which veterinarian degree that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Auburn AL area as well as across the United States, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, among 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 review process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of Auburn AL area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, call some Auburn AL veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with Auburn AL veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Auburn AL veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Auburn AL programs you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students regarding 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 Campus Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Auburn AL home, you have to make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's essential that you find out if the vet programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Auburn AL. Some may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Chosse the Best Auburn Veterinary Technologist Program
Selecting the appropriate vet tech school is an important first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for animals. Future students considering vet tech colleges must make their determination based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Auburn Alabama.