Vet Technician School
How to Choose the Right One Near Chandler Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Chandler AZ to fulfill your heartfelt desire to work with and care for our pets might from the start seem like an overwhelming task. But to be successful as a working veterinary technician, you need to first search for and finally enroll in a school that will provide the required training and education. And in order to pick the right one you must research and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. When looking for vet tech programs, many potential students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes. When they have identified some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant factors when evaluating veterinary technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating before you make a final choice. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
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Vet Technician Degree Options
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can perform within the Chandler AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared with assistants and typically acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years. Therefore the only real 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, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Chandler AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's essential that you verify that the veterinary technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available 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 Chandler AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet 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 involving your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Chandler AZ veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with Chandler AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Chandler AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chandler AZ schools you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Chandler AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, 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 in or near a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's imperative that you determine if the vet programs 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 Chandler AZ. Some might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Chandler Veterinary Technologist College
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students looking into vet tech schools must make their determination based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs 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 decision. And by selecting the best school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Chandler Arizona.