Vet Technician College
How to Select the Best One Near Bullhead City Arizona
Realizing your long term aspiration of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Bullhead City AZ may initially seem like a challenging undertaking. But in order to succeed as a working veterinary technician, you must first locate and finally enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training and education. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you can make the best selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their residences. Once they have located some area colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The main point is that before making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the programs you are evaluating. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll explore the different duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Technician Degree Options
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Bullhead City AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing 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 completion of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training in contrast to assistants and generally obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states presently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore 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, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you want to earn, 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 Bullhead City AZ area and across the Country, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like 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 reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the veterinary technician college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive screening process that confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Bullhead City AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Bullhead City AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Bullhead City AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate could suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Bullhead City AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could 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 larger in size, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Bullhead City AZ programs you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Bullhead City AZ home, you need to make certain that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Bullhead City AZ. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Bullhead City Veterinary Technologist College
Choosing the ideal vet tech college is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students considering veterinary technician colleges need to make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the ideal program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Bullhead City Arizona.