Vet Technician Training
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech program near Drexel Heights AZ might at first seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a college that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. And in order to pick the right one you must research and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their residences. After they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you must carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are evaluating. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the various responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
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Vet Technician Education Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Drexel Heights AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing 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 involved with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general 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 complex duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real 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 opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Drexel Heights AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Schools
By now you should have decided on which veterinary degree that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Drexel Heights AZ area and across the USA, you should ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools 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 earlier mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive review process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Drexel Heights AZ area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Drexel Heights AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs set up with Drexel Heights AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate might signify that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the school has an outstanding reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could 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 in size, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Drexel Heights AZ programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Drexel Heights AZ home, you have to make sure that the driving 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 school is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary schools you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Drexel Heights AZ. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might find that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Vet Technologist Program
Choosing the ideal vet tech college is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students looking into vet tech programs must make their determination based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Drexel Heights Arizona.