Vet Technician School
How to Select the Best One Near El Mirage Arizona
Finding a veterinary technician school near El Mirage AZ to achieve your lifelong desire to help and care for animals might initially feel like an enormous task. But to be successful as a working veterinary technician, you need to first locate and ultimately enroll in a program that will provide the required training and education. And in order to pick the right one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you are considering. When checking out vet tech programs, many potential students start by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes. When they have found some local colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant concerns when comparing veterinary technician schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your assessments. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are evaluating before you make an ultimate choice. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the varied roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Degree Options
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you wish 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 devote to your education, but the primary determiner will undoubtedly 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 licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can carry out within the El Mirage AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. 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 complex activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared to assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years. So the main 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, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in El Mirage AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the El Mirage AZ area and across the Country, you should ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of El Mirage AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final tip, call some El Mirage AZ veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with El Mirage AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate could signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the college has an excellent reputation within the El Mirage AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not highly regarded 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 may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the El Mirage AZ colleges you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, 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 El Mirage AZ home, you need to make sure 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 campus is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes 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 schools you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near El Mirage AZ. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family issues. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best El Mirage Vet Technologist Program
Selecting the appropriate veterinary technician college is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students looking into veterinary technician colleges must make their determination based on several key issues. 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 when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech programs 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 selection. And by selecting the ideal school, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in El Mirage Arizona.