Vet Technician Training Program
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
Realizing your lifelong goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Auburn AL may at first feel like a challenging undertaking. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will furnish the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you tackle analyzing and contrasting schools so that you can make the correct selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their homes. When they have located some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant factors when evaluating veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The bottom line is that prior to making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are examining. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the varied roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Technician Training Options
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous duties that they can perform within the Auburn AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually earn a 2 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 duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years. Therefore the only real distinction 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 licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Auburn AL laboratories or research facilities as well.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you intend 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 and across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, 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 thorough screening process that confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for many Auburn AL area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Auburn AL vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with Auburn AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study 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 may signify that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Auburn AL veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Auburn AL colleges you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Auburn AL home, you need to confirm that the commuting time fits into 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 school is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? 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, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Auburn AL. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family issues. You might find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Auburn Vet Technologist School
Choosing the right veterinary technician college is an important first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students looking into vet tech programs need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the best program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Auburn Alabama.