Veterinary Technician Degree Program
How to Choose the Right One Near Flowing Wells Arizona
Realizing your long term goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet tech school near Flowing Wells AZ might at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. And in order to pick the best one you must research and compare all of the schools you are considering. Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. After they have found some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant factors when comparing vet technician programs, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. The bottom line is that prior to making a selection, you need to complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the various responsibilities of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Technician Degree Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many jobs that they can perform within the Flowing Wells AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by graduating from 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 execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and normally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated duties, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists can 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 Flowing Wells AZ labs or research facilities also.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Flowing Wells AZ area as well as across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's important that you confirm that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, one of 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 thorough review process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a requirement for employment for many Flowing Wells AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, call some Flowing Wells AZ vet clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even recommend some schools 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. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs set up with Flowing Wells AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate may indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Flowing Wells AZ vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Flowing Wells AZ schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Flowing Wells AZ home, you have to make certain 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the school is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online may 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 important that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Flowing Wells AZ. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Flowing Wells Vet Technologist Program
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician school is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about vet tech programs must make their decision based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as 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 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 selection. And by choosing the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Flowing Wells Arizona.