Veterinary Technician School
How to Pick the Best One Near Trussville Alabama
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet tech college near Trussville AL may at first seem like an overwhelming task. But in order to succeed as a practicing veterinary technician, you must first locate and ultimately enroll in a school that will provide the necessary education and training. And in order to pick the right one you must research and compare each of the schools you are considering. When checking out vet tech programs, many potential students begin by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes. When they have found some local schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant factors when assessing veterinary technician schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician schools you are reviewing before you make a final selection. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Technician Degree Options
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you desire to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can perform within the Trussville AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties 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 vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and typically obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are included in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years. So the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Trussville AL laboratories or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian degree that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Trussville AL area and across the USA, you must ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that verifies you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Trussville AL area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Trussville AL vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way 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 arranged with Trussville AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job 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, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate may signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Trussville AL veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Trussville AL colleges you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to sit in on some 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 approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Trussville AL home, you must confirm that the commuting 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, particularly if the campus is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's essential that you find out if the vet schools you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Trussville AL. Some might only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online college is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Chosse the Right Trussville Veterinary Technologist College
Picking the right vet tech program is an important first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about veterinary technician colleges must make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the best college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Trussville Alabama.