Vet Technician School
How to Find the Right One Near Prichard Alabama
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Prichard AL to fulfill your passionate goal to work with and care for our pets might from the start seem like an enormous task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you go about assessing and comparing colleges so that you can make the best choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their homes. After they have identified some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the programs you are assessing. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the various duties of vet techs and the training options available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Training Options
One of 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 preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can carry out within the Prichard AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher 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 examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Prichard AL labs or research facilities as well.
Veterinary Technician Online Programs Available
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Prichard AL veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, such as for commuting and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician program may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian degree that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Prichard AL area as well as across the USA, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's essential that you make sure that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, among 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 review process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Prichard AL area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies 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 suggestion, call some Prichard AL veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Prichard AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate might mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Prichard AL veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Prichard AL programs you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Prichard AL home, you need to make sure that the driving time is compatible with 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 campus 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 particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you ascertain if the vet colleges you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Prichard AL. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Chosse the Right Prichard Veterinary Technologist Program
Picking the ideal vet tech program is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech schools need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for 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 choice. And by choosing the best program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Prichard Alabama.