Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Find the Right One Near El Mirage Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near El Mirage AZ to achieve your heartfelt desire to work with and provide medical treatment for our pets may initially seem like an enormous task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a school that will deliver the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the proper selection? When checking out vet tech programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when assessing vet tech programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The bottom line is that prior to making a selection, you need to finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are examining. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the varied roles of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Technician Training Options
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous functions that they can perform within the El Mirage AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive 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 vet equivalent 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 engaged in more complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in El Mirage AZ labs or research facilities also.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the El Mirage AZ area as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of El Mirage AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact some El Mirage AZ veterinarians that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best way to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with El Mirage AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate may signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the school has an outstanding reputation within the El Mirage AZ veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the El Mirage AZ schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback 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 talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician 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, especially if the college is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinarian schools you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near El Mirage AZ. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Chosse the Best El Mirage Vet Technologist Program
Picking the appropriate vet tech college is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary technician colleges must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in El Mirage Arizona.