Veterinary Technician School
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Fort Mohave Arizona
Achieving your long term dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Fort Mohave AZ could initially seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. And in order to pick the best one you must research and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their homes. Once they have identified some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important factors when comparing veterinary technician schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into as well. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you need to finish your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are assessing. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Education Options
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can carry out within the Fort Mohave AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct 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, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Fort Mohave AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you want to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Fort Mohave AZ area and across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's imperative that you verify that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, among the most highly regarded 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 quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Fort Mohave AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations involving your specific schools. As a final pointer, get in touch with some Fort Mohave AZ veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs established with Fort Mohave AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate may mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Fort Mohave AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean 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 larger, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Fort Mohave AZ schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students regarding 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 College Located? Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Fort Mohave AZ home, you must 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 drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's important that you determine if the veterinarian colleges you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible 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 Fort Mohave AZ. Others might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your active life.
Enroll in the Right Fort Mohave Vet Technologist Program
Selecting the appropriate veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students thinking about veterinary technician programs need to make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and support 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 applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Fort Mohave Arizona.