Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Find the Best One Near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech school near Catalina Foothills AZ might at first seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a college that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the ideal choice? When looking for vet tech schools, many potential students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes. After they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when assessing vet technician programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician schools you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the different responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Training Options
Among 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 preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Catalina Foothills AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. 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 involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and generally acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved duties, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced 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 exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Programs Available
An option that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using multiple methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Catalina Foothills AZ veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for example for commuting and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech school may be the ideal choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian degree that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Catalina Foothills AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's essential that you verify that the vet tech college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for many Catalina Foothills AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Catalina Foothills AZ veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with Catalina Foothills AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate could signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not highly 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, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Catalina Foothills AZ schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Catalina Foothills AZ home, you have to make certain 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or close by a larger 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 fees particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's essential that you ascertain if the veterinary schools you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Catalina Foothills AZ. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Right Catalina Foothills Vet Technologist School
Selecting the appropriate vet tech college is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for animals. Students considering vet tech colleges must make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Catalina Foothills Arizona.