Veterinary Technician Training
How to Find the Right One Near Juneau Alaska
Finding a veterinary technician school near Juneau AK to fulfill your lifelong goal to help and care for animals may from the start feel like an enormous challenge. But in order to succeed as a working veterinary technician, you need to first search for and ultimately enroll in a program that will provide the required education and training. And so that you pick the best one you must evaluate 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 nearest to their homes. When they have found some area colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important factors when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The bottom line is that prior to making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the programs you are examining. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Technician Education Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Juneau AK veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, 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 techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Juneau AK labs or research facilities as well.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Juneau AK area and across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to choose 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 vet tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Juneau AK area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school ranking websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies 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, get in touch with some Juneau AK vet clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with Juneau AK veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local veterinary community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate could suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the college has an excellent reputation within the Juneau AK veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not highly 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, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Juneau AK schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Juneau AK home, you must make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out 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 large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's important that you find out if the vet colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Juneau AK. Some may 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. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, sickness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Juneau Vet Technologist College
Selecting the right veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Potential students thinking about vet tech colleges must make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Juneau Alaska.