Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Find the Right One Near Flagstaff Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Flagstaff AZ to achieve your heartfelt goal to work with and provide medical treatment for our pets may initially feel like an enormous challenge. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will furnish the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you approach assessing and contrasting schools so that you can make the ideal choice? When checking out vet tech programs, many potential students begin by targeting those that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into as well. The main point is that before making a selection, you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the programs you are assessing. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the various roles of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
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Vet Technician Training Options
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous jobs that they can perform within the Flagstaff AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared to assistants and usually earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years to complete. Therefore the only real 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 required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Flagstaff AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you should have determined which veterinary degree that you want to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Flagstaff AZ area as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to select a school 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 veterinary technician schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Flagstaff AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate 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 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 complaints or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, call some Flagstaff AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with Flagstaff AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate could suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Flagstaff AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate that the training is not highly regarded 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 receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Flagstaff AZ schools you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Flagstaff AZ home, you need to confirm that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or near a larger 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 increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's important that you find out if the veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Flagstaff AZ. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family issues. You might find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Chosse the Best Flagstaff Veterinary Technologist College
Enrolling in the ideal veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary technician schools need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you choose 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 narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the right school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Flagstaff Arizona.