Veterinary Technician Program
How to Find the Right One Near Glendale Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Glendale AZ to fulfill your heartfelt goal to help and care for our pets may from the start feel like an enormous task. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the proper selection? When checking out vet tech programs, the majority of students begin by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes. When they have found some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important factors when evaluating vet technician programs, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as cost and location. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the programs you are examining. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the varied duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Technician Training Options
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Glendale AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters 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 gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared to assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable 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 generally requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also 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 urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Glendale AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Programs Available
An option that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Glendale AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for traveling and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary technician program may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Schools
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Glendale AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational 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 necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for many Glendale AZ area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Glendale AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Glendale AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate might suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Glendale AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Glendale AZ schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Glendale AZ home, you need to make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, 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 in or close by a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you ascertain if the veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Glendale AZ. Others might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Glendale Veterinary Technologist Program
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician college is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students looking into veterinary technician programs must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Glendale Arizona.