Veterinary Technician Degree
How to Select the Best One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Drexel Heights AZ to fulfill your passionate goal to help and care for our pets may from the start feel like an overwhelming task. But in order to succeed as a working veterinary technician, you must first locate and finally enroll in a program that will provide the necessary education and training. But just how do you tackle evaluating and contrasting programs so that you can make the correct choice? When checking out vet tech schools, many potential students start by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important concerns when comparing vet technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician programs you are looking at before you make a final decision. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the varied duties of vet techs and the training options offered.
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Vet Tech Degree Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish 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 commit to your education, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of functions that they can carry out within the Drexel Heights AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically acquire 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 basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically carry out the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Drexel Heights AZ labs or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Drexel Heights AZ area and across the United States, you should ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous screening process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Drexel Heights AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Drexel Heights AZ veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs arranged with Drexel Heights AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help develop connections in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate may suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not well 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 bigger, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Drexel Heights AZ home, you have to confirm that the driving 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, especially if the college is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college 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 could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's essential that you ascertain if the veterinary colleges you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Drexel Heights AZ. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family issues. You might find that an online program is the best solution to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Vet Technologist School
Picking the right veterinary technician program is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Students looking into vet tech programs must make their decision based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Drexel Heights Arizona.