Vet Technician Program
How to Find the Best One Near Troy Alabama
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Troy AL to achieve your heartfelt goal to help and care for animals might from the start feel like an enormous task. But to be successful as a practicing veterinary technician, you need to first locate and ultimately enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training and education. But just how do you go about reviewing and comparing colleges so that you can make the right selection? When looking for vet tech programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes. When they have found some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important considerations when evaluating veterinary technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into as well. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all important qualifications 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 duties of veterinary technicians 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 first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Troy AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice 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 veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically acquire a two 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 fundamental 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 complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. Therefore the main distinction 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.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Troy AL labs or research facilities also.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
By now you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you want to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Troy AL area and across the USA, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Troy AL area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your targeted schools. As a final pointer, call some Troy AL veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Troy AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Troy AL vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Troy AL programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Troy AL home, you must confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located in or close by 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 increased tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's essential that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Troy AL. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Troy Vet Technologist College
Enrolling in the right vet tech program is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Students thinking about vet tech schools need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's imperative 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 schools 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 choice. And by choosing the best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Troy Alabama.