Veterinary Technician School
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Dothan Alabama
Achieving your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Dothan AL might at first feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing colleges so that you can make the correct selection? When looking for vet tech programs, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes. Once they have located some local schools, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant concerns when evaluating vet technician schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician schools you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll explore the various responsibilities 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
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Dothan AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet 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 included in more complicated functions, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Dothan AL labs or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Dothan AL area and across the USA, you should ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 gone through an extensive review process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for a number of Dothan AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Dothan AL vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with Dothan AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local vet community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate may suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Dothan AL veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Dothan AL schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Dothan AL home, you need to make sure 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 drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's essential that you find out if the veterinary schools you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Dothan AL. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require 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 might discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Dothan Veterinary Technologist Program
Picking the right veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering veterinary technician schools must make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you enroll in 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 selection. And by choosing the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Dothan Alabama.