Vet Technician Training Program
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Troy Alabama
Realizing your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech program near Troy AL could at first feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. And so that you pick the right one you must research and compare each of the schools you are considering. Many future students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their homes. When they have located some local colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant considerations when evaluating veterinary technician schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. The main point is that before making a selection, you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the programs you are reviewing. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the different responsibilities of vet techs and the training options available.
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Vet Technician Training Options
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you want 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 invest in your education, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous jobs that they can carry out within the Troy AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have completed 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 vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved activities, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared with assistants and typically obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet 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 involved functions, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. So the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may 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 Troy AL laboratories or research facilities also.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Troy AL area and across the USA, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier 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 undergone a rigorous screening process that verifies you will obtain 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 colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for a number of Troy AL area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Troy AL veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Troy AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Troy AL veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not well 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 may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Troy AL colleges you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Troy AL home, you need to confirm that the commuting time is compatible with 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 school is located in or near a large city. In addition, 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. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Troy AL. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family issues. You may find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Right Troy Veterinary Technologist Program
Picking the ideal veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students looking into vet tech colleges must make their selection based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities 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 excellent 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 narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Troy Alabama.