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Veterinary Technician Training
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Juneau Alaska

Juneau Alaska dog with large ears with cone on headAchieving your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech program near Juneau AK could initially seem like a daunting undertaking. 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 training and education. And so that you pick the best one you must research and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. When checking out vet tech programs, many potential students begin by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes. After they have identified some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as cost and location. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are reviewing. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the different duties of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.

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Vet Technician Degree Options

Juneau Alaska veterinarian checking dog's blood pressure

One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Juneau AK veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in almost all 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 trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally 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, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
  • Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and typically earn a 2 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 vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.

Vet techs 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  Juneau AK laboratories or research facilities also.

Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools

Juneau Alaska cat in carrier in veterinary hospitalBy now you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you wish to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Juneau AK area as well as across the United States, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. 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 example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.

Is the Vet College Accredited?  It's important that you make sure that the veterinary technician school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, 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 an extensive screening process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Juneau AK area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.

What is the College's Reputation?  The veterinarian college or trade school and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your targeted schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Juneau AK vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with Juneau AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.

Is Job Placement Provided?  Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate could mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the school has an outstanding reputation within the Juneau AK vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Juneau AK colleges you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students concerning 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 School Located?  Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Juneau AK home, you have to make sure that the driving time fits into 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, especially if the college is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it's essential that you determine if the veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough 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 attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.

Learn More About How to Become a Veterinary Tech in Juneau

Enroll in the Best Juneau Vet Technologist College

Enrolling in the ideal vet tech college is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students thinking about vet tech programs need to make their determination based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Juneau Alaska.



 

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