Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Select the Best One Near Dothan Alabama
Achieving your long term dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech program near Dothan AL may at first feel like a daunting task. After all, you have to find and enroll in a program that will deliver the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. And in order to pick the right one you must research and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. When checking out vet tech programs, many potential students begin by targeting those that are closest to their homes. After they have found some local colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important considerations when evaluating vet technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the varied responsibilities of vet techs and the training options offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Technician Education Options
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many functions that they can perform within the Dothan AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, 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 techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared with assistants and normally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex activities, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction 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 possible 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 anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Dothan AL labs or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Programs Available
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Dothan AL veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for instance for travel and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet tech program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you want to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Dothan AL area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, 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 essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Dothan AL area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final pointer, phone some Dothan AL veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Dothan AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate may signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Dothan AL veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Dothan AL programs you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Dothan AL home, you need to make certain 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located near or in 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 charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending 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 finally, it's important that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Dothan AL. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online college is the best way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Chosse the Best Dothan Vet Technologist School
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician college is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students looking into veterinary technician colleges must make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the ideal school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Dothan Alabama.