Veterinary Technician School
How to Choose the Right One Near Fairbanks Alaska
Achieving your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Fairbanks AK may at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you must find and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. And so that you pick the best 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 the ones that are closest to their homes. When they have identified some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when comparing vet technician programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll discuss the varied duties of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.
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Vet Tech Degree Options
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous duties that they can carry out within the Fairbanks AK veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from 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. Usually they are not associated with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Fairbanks AK laboratories or research facilities as well.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Fairbanks AK area as well as across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding screening process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for a number of Fairbanks AK area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, call some Fairbanks AK veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with Fairbanks AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Fairbanks AK vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fairbanks AK programs you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Fairbanks AK home, you need to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or close by a larger 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. Of course taking classes online might 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 find out if the veterinarian programs 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 at night near Fairbanks AK. Some 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. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Chosse the Best Fairbanks Vet Technologist School
Choosing the right vet tech school is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students considering vet tech schools need to make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the ideal college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Fairbanks Alaska.