Veterinary Technician School
How to Select the Best One Near Marana Arizona
Realizing your long term goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Marana AZ may initially seem like a daunting task. But to be successful as a working veterinary technician, you must first search for and ultimately enroll in a school that will provide the required training and education. And so that you pick the right one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. After they have located some local colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant factors when comparing vet technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as cost and location. The main point is that before making a selection, you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are examining. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll discuss the various responsibilities of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Technician Education Options
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Marana AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing 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 associated with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared to assistants and generally obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. So the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Marana AZ labs or research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Technician Programs Available
An alternative 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. Because the classes are made available through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Marana AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, such as for commuting and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just be sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary technician school may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you wish to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Marana AZ area and across the USA, you must ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the veterinary technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier 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 an extensive review process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for many Marana AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include checking with online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, call some Marana AZ vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with Marana AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum 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 mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Marana AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Marana AZ programs you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to 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? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Marana AZ home, you must make certain that the commuting time fits into 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, particularly if the campus is located near or in a larger 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 increased tuition costs particularly for community and state 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 schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Marana AZ. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You might find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Chosse the Best Marana Veterinary Technologist Program
Picking the right veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students looking into vet tech programs need to make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you pick 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 assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the ideal program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Marana Arizona.