Vet Technician Degree Program
How to Find the Best One Near Millbrook Alabama
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Millbrook AL to achieve your passionate goal to help and provide medical treatment for animals might initially seem like an enormous task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. And in order to pick the right one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their homes. Once they have found some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when comparing veterinary technician schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician programs you are considering before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the different responsibilities of vet techs and the training options offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Technician Degree Options
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can perform within the Millbrook AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual functions 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 generally acquire a two 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 fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex functions, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years. So the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Millbrook AL labs or research facilities as well.
Online Vet Tech Schools Available
An option that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered over the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Millbrook AL veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for example for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you wish to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Millbrook AL area as well as across the United States, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous review process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for a number of Millbrook AL area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating 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 involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Millbrook AL vet clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Millbrook AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate may signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Millbrook AL veterinarian 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 placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Millbrook AL programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Millbrook AL home, you need to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are considering 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 Millbrook AL. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family issues. You may find that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Millbrook Vet Technologist School
Picking the right veterinary technician college is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students considering vet tech colleges must make their decision based on a number of key issues. 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 animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the best college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Millbrook Alabama.