Veterinary Technician Training
How to Choose the Right One Near Fountain Hills Arizona
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Fountain Hills AZ might at first feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. And in order to pick the best one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their homes. Once they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when comparing veterinary technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors 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 carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the programs you are reviewing. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the varied duties of vet techs and the training options offered.
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Vet Technician Training Options
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Fountain Hills AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training in contrast to assistants and usually acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician 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 additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Fountain Hills AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian degree that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Fountain Hills AZ area and across the United States, you should ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, 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 demanding review process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Fountain Hills AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating 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 relating to your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Fountain Hills AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs established with Fountain Hills AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate could signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Fountain Hills AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Fountain Hills AZ schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Fountain Hills AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting time fits into 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 near or in a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's essential that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Fountain Hills AZ. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Fountain Hills Vet Technologist Program
Enrolling in the right veterinary technician college is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing 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 are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Fountain Hills Arizona.