Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Find the Best One Near Maricopa Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Maricopa AZ to fulfill your lifelong desire to work with and care for our pets might from the start feel like an enormous challenge. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting programs so that you can make the ideal selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their residences. After they have identified some area colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when evaluating vet technician schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech programs you are looking at before you make a final choice. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the different responsibilities of vet techs and the training options offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Technician Training Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary determiner will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Maricopa AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated activities, such as 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 handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and generally acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Maricopa AZ labs or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Programs Available
An alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Maricopa AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for example for traveling and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just be sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian degree that you would like to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Maricopa AZ area and across the United States, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous screening process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a precondition for employment for many Maricopa AZ area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school rating 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 infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final pointer, contact some Maricopa AZ veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with Maricopa AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate could indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Maricopa AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Maricopa AZ schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Maricopa AZ home, you must make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes could be an option 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 veterinarian colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Maricopa AZ. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family issues. You may find that an online school is the best way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Chosse the Best Maricopa Vet Technologist School
Selecting the right vet tech college is an important first step to starting a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students looking into veterinary technician schools need to make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs 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 choice. And by picking the ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Maricopa Arizona.