Vet Technician Training Program
How to Find the Right One Near Flagstaff Arizona
Achieving your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech school near Flagstaff AZ might at first feel like a challenging task. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a college that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you approach reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the proper selection? When checking out vet tech programs, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when evaluating veterinary technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into as well. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are examining. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the different roles of vet techs and the training options available.
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Vet Technician Degree Options
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many jobs that they can perform within the Flagstaff AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college. 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 instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared to assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more involved functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years to complete. So the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Flagstaff AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Schools Available
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Flagstaff AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for instance for traveling and study materials, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech school may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary degree that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Flagstaff AZ area as well as across the United States, you must ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's essential that you make sure that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier 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 demanding screening process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for a number of Flagstaff AZ area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Flagstaff AZ vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with Flagstaff AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate may signify that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Flagstaff AZ veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Flagstaff AZ programs you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Flagstaff AZ home, you have to confirm 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located near or in a larger city. Also, 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 especially for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you determine if the vet programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Flagstaff AZ. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Chosse the Best Flagstaff Vet Technologist College
Picking the right vet tech program is an important first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary technician schools must make their selection based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you select 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 evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Flagstaff Arizona.