Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Pick the Best One Near Opelika Alabama
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Opelika AL to achieve your heartfelt desire to help and provide medical treatment for our pets may from the start seem like an enormous task. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. And in order to pick the right one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you are considering. Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. Once they have identified some area schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the programs you are reviewing. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the various roles of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Degree Options
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Opelika AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more involved activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and usually acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years. 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 work opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Opelika AL labs or research facilities also.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Opelika AL area and across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, one of 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 demanding screening process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a requirement for employment for many Opelika AL area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Opelika AL veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Opelika AL veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate could suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools 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 Opelika AL veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify 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 bigger, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Opelika AL schools you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Opelika AL home, you have to confirm that the driving time is compatible with 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 college is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important that you determine if the vet colleges you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Opelika AL. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Chosse the Right Opelika Vet Technologist College
Enrolling in the right veterinary technician school is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students thinking about veterinary technician schools must make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's very important 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 colleges as well. By asking the questions included 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 program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Opelika Alabama.