Vet Technician Degree Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Juneau Alaska
Achieving your long term goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Juneau AK may initially seem like a daunting task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. And so that you pick the best one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you are considering. Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their homes. When they have identified some local colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important factors when evaluating veterinary technician schools, they are not the only important ones when making your evaluations. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the varied roles of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Technician Education Options
Among the initial 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 dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Juneau AK veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training in contrast to assistants and typically acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general 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 involved duties, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Juneau AK laboratories or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Available
An option that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Juneau AK veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for example for travel and study supplies, can be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech program may be the ideal choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you should have determined which veterinarian degree that you want to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Juneau AK area and across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to select a college 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 veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for many Juneau AK area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Juneau AK vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best way to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Juneau AK veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local vet community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate might suggest that the teachers 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 mean 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 may indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Juneau AK schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Juneau AK home, you must make certain that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or near a larger city. Also, 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 fees particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of 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 class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family issues. You might find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Chosse the Best Juneau Vet Technologist School
Selecting the right veterinary technician school is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students looking into veterinary technician programs must make their selection based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the best school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Juneau Alaska.