Veterinary Technician College
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Juneau Alaska
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Juneau AK to fulfill your heartfelt goal to help and care for our pets may from the start feel like an overwhelming task. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. And in order to pick the right one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you are considering. When checking out vet tech schools, many potential students start by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes. When they have located some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when assessing vet tech 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 cost and location. The main point is that before making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the programs you are examining. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll explore the various roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Training Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of functions that they can carry out within the Juneau AK veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated tasks, 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 controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared to assistants and normally 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 general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved functions, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically carry out the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years. So 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 work options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated 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. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Juneau AK labs or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Schools Offered
An approach that may be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Juneau AK veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for instance for commuting and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses 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 veterinary technician program may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Juneau AK area as well as across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's essential that you make sure that the veterinary technician school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of 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 confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of Juneau AK area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact 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 selections. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with Juneau AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate might mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the college has an excellent reputation within the Juneau AK veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might indicate that the training is not highly thought of 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 personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Juneau AK schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already covered 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 Juneau AK home, you have to make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online 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 ascertain if the vet colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Juneau AK. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online college is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Juneau Vet Technologist School
Choosing the right vet tech program is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary technician colleges need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Juneau Alaska.