Vet Technician Training Program
How to Select the Right One Near Goodyear Arizona
Realizing your long term aspiration of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Goodyear AZ might at first feel like a daunting endeavor. But to be successful as a working veterinary technician, you must first search for and ultimately enroll in a program that will provide the required training and education. And in order to pick the best one you must evaluate and compare all of the schools you are considering. Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their homes. After they have found some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when assessing vet tech programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician schools you are reviewing before you make an ultimate choice. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the varied duties of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
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Vet Technician Education Options
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many duties that they can carry out within the Goodyear AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard vet practice, for instance 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 instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared with assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex activities, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Goodyear AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Goodyear AZ area as well as across the USA, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive review process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Goodyear AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Goodyear AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Goodyear AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Goodyear AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Goodyear AZ schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Goodyear AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's essential that you determine if the veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Goodyear AZ. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your active life.
Enroll in the Right Goodyear Vet Technologist School
Picking the right veterinary technician program is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students considering veterinary technician schools must make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Goodyear Arizona.