Veterinary Technician Degree
How to Select the Right One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Realizing your long term dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Lake Havasu City AZ could at first seem like an overwhelming endeavor. But to be successful as a working veterinary technician, you need to first locate and ultimately enroll in a school that will provide the required education and training. And so that you pick the right one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you are considering. When looking for vet tech schools, the majority of students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified some area colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant considerations when evaluating vet technician schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet tech programs you are looking at before you make a final choice. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the varied responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Technician Degree Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Lake Havasu City AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing 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 execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared to assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary 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 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 career opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Lake Havasu City AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ area as well as across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's essential that you make sure that the vet tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for a number of Lake Havasu City AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Lake Havasu City AZ veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Lake Havasu City AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate may suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the program has an excellent reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify 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 larger sized, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Lake Havasu City AZ programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Lake Havasu City AZ home, you need to make sure that the driving time fits into 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 campus is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's essential that you ascertain if the veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Lake Havasu City AZ. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Lake Havasu City Vet Technologist School
Picking the ideal vet tech college is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech colleges need to make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics 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 imperative that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Lake Havasu City Arizona.