Vet Technician Program
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Troy Alabama
Realizing your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Troy AL may at first seem like a challenging task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a program that will provide the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. And so that you pick the best one you must evaluate and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. When looking for vet tech schools, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified some area schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important factors when assessing vet technician programs, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must finish your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the programs you are assessing. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the varied duties of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.
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Vet Tech Education Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Troy AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, 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 veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training in contrast to assistants and generally obtain a 2 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 general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Troy AL labs or research facilities as well.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you should have determined which veterinarian degree that you wish to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Troy AL area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's important that you verify that the veterinary technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous review process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for a number of Troy AL area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet 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 infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final tip, contact some Troy AL veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with Troy AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate might indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may indicate that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Troy AL vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance 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 individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Troy AL schools you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations 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 Campus Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Troy AL home, you must confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's essential that you ascertain if the veterinarian programs you are exploring 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 Troy AL. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Chosse the Right Troy Veterinary Technologist Program
Picking the right veterinary technician college is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students thinking about vet tech colleges need to make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Troy Alabama.