Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Select the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Auburn AL to fulfill your passionate desire to help and care for animals may from the start feel like an enormous challenge. After all, you need to find and enroll in a program that will deliver the necessary training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. And so that you pick the best one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you are considering. When looking for vet tech programs, many potential students begin by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified some local schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. 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 roles of vet techs and the training options offered.
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Vet Technician Education Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Auburn AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared to assistants and generally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Auburn AL labs or research facilities also.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you should have determined which veterinarian credential that you want to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Auburn AL area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's imperative that you verify 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 respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that confirms you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for many Auburn AL area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final tip, phone some Auburn AL veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs arranged with Auburn AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate might signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may indicate that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Auburn AL vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Auburn AL programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Auburn AL home, you must confirm that the driving 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, especially if the campus is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in 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, taking online classes might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you ascertain if the veterinarian schools you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Auburn AL. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or 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 might miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You might find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Auburn Vet Technologist School
Enrolling in the right vet tech school is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary technician schools must make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Auburn Alabama.