Vet Technician Degree Program
How to Pick the Right One Near Green Valley Arizona
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Green Valley AZ might at first feel like a daunting task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. And so that you pick the best one you must research and compare all of the schools you are considering. When checking out vet tech schools, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes. When they have located some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when evaluating veterinary technician schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into also. The bottom line is that prior to making a selection, you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the various roles of vet techs and the training options available.
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Vet Technician Training Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be based 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 have in common is that they both work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous functions that they can carry out within the Green Valley AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and training requirements 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 trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and generally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years. Therefore the main 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 potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs 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 Green Valley AZ labs or research facilities also.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you want to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Green Valley AZ area and across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, among the most highly respected 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 superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Green Valley AZ area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance 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 department if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Green Valley AZ veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with Green Valley AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate could suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Green Valley AZ veterinary 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 sized, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Green Valley AZ programs you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in 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 instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Green Valley AZ home, you need to make certain that the commuting 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 school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to attend 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 classes online could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you find out if the veterinary programs you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Green Valley AZ. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Green Valley Vet Technologist Program
Enrolling in the ideal vet tech school is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students looking into veterinary technician colleges need to make their determination based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online colleges 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 choice. And by picking the ideal program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Green Valley Arizona.