Veterinary Technician Degree
How to Select the Right One Near Marana Arizona
Finding a veterinary technician school near Marana AZ to fulfill your heartfelt desire to work with and provide medical treatment for our pets may from the start seem like an overwhelming challenge. But to be successful as a practicing veterinary technician, you must first locate and finally enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training and education. But just how do you approach analyzing and contrasting schools so that you can make the correct choice? When looking for vet tech programs, many potential students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found some local schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important concerns when comparing vet technician schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into as well. The main point is that before making a selection, you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the programs you are evaluating. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the various duties of vet techs and the training options available.
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Vet Technician Degree Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous jobs that they can perform within the Marana AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice 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 complicated activities, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion 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 veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. So the only real distinction 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, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Marana AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
What to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian degree that you wish to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Marana AZ area and across the Country, you should ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a school 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 vet tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, 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 thorough screening process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for 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 precondition for employment for a number of Marana AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Marana AZ veterinarians that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with Marana AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. 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 assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Marana AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Marana AZ schools you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Marana AZ home, you have to make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Marana AZ. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of work, sickness or family issues. You may find that an online college is the best way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Chosse the Right Marana Vet Technologist School
Enrolling in the right vet tech college is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech colleges must make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Marana Arizona.