Veterinary Technician School
How to Find the Right One Near Foley Alabama
Realizing your long term goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near Foley AL could at first feel like a daunting endeavor. But to be successful as a practicing veterinary technician, you need to first locate and finally enroll in a program that will provide the necessary education and training. And so that you pick the best one you must research and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. When looking for vet tech schools, many potential students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important considerations when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are examining. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the various roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Education Options
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of functions that they can carry out within the Foley AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice 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 execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic 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 complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years to complete. So the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Foley AL laboratories or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Vet Tech Schools
At this point you should have determined which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Foley AL area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for many Foley AL area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary 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 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 concerning your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Foley AL vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with Foley AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the school has an excellent reputation within the Foley AL vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Foley AL programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Foley AL home, you need to make sure that the commuting time fits into 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 college is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's important that you determine if the veterinary schools you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible 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 Foley AL. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your active life.
Enroll in the Right Foley Veterinary Technologist College
Picking the right vet tech program is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about veterinary technician colleges need to make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative 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 reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the right school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Foley Alabama.