Vet Technician College
How to Select the Right One Near Goodyear Arizona
Achieving your long term goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near Goodyear AZ could initially seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. And so that you pick the best one you must evaluate and compare all of the schools you are considering. Many potential students begin their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. When they have located some area schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant concerns when assessing vet technician schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your assessments. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the different roles of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Tech Degree Options
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish 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 primary determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Goodyear AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, 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 technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared to assistants and generally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required 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. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Goodyear AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian degree that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Goodyear AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's imperative that you verify that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Goodyear AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include checking with internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions concerning your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some Goodyear AZ veterinarians that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Goodyear AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate might signify that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Goodyear AZ veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Goodyear AZ programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Goodyear AZ home, you must make sure that the commuting 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, particularly if the college is located in or close by a larger city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online could be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's essential that you ascertain if the veterinarian programs you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Goodyear AZ. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Enroll in the Right Goodyear Veterinary Technologist College
Choosing the appropriate veterinary technician school is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about vet tech schools need to make their selection based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the right college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Goodyear Arizona.