Vet Technician Training
How to Find the Best One Near Anchorage Alaska
Finding a veterinary technician school near Anchorage AK to achieve your heartfelt goal to work with and provide medical treatment for our pets may initially seem like an enormous task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. And in order to pick the right one you must research and compare all of the schools you are considering. When checking out vet tech programs, many potential students begin by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when assessing veterinary technician schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into as well. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are evaluating. We have furnished several within 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 Technician Degree Options
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the primary factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Anchorage AK veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have completed a structured 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 trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared to assistants and normally acquire a two 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 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 complex duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated 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 more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Anchorage AK laboratories or research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Technician Programs Available
An approach that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Anchorage AK veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician school may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Anchorage AK area and across the Country, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive screening process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Anchorage AK area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, call some Anchorage AK vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest one or more colleges 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 medical environment. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with Anchorage AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help develop connections in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting 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 considering. A low rate may indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the school has an outstanding reputation within the Anchorage AK veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate 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 bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Anchorage AK schools you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Anchorage AK home, you have to make sure 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes could be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's important that you find out if the veterinarian schools you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Anchorage AK. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family issues. You may discover that an online college is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Chosse the Best Anchorage Veterinary Technologist College
Picking the right veterinary technician school is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career providing treatment and care for animals. Future students thinking about veterinary technician schools need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Anchorage Alaska.