Veterinary Technician Degree
How to Pick the Best One Near College Alaska
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech school near College AK may at first seem like a challenging endeavor. 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 vet tech. But just how do you approach reviewing and contrasting schools so that you can make the right selection? When looking for vet tech programs, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important factors when assessing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Education Options
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the College AK veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases 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 execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex activities, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with 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 equivalent 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 complex functions, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in College AK labs or research facilities also.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the College AK area and across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for many College AK area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school ranking websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations involving your specific schools. As a final tip, call some College AK vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with College AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate could signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the school has an excellent reputation within the College AK veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the College AK schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your College AK home, you have to make sure 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, especially if the campus is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you determine if the vet 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 College AK. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of sickness, work or family issues. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Chosse the Right College Vet Technologist College
Choosing the ideal veterinary technician school is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students looking into vet tech programs must make their determination based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the ideal school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in College Alaska.