Vet Technician Training
How to Choose the Best One Near Maricopa Arizona
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Maricopa AZ might initially seem like a daunting undertaking. But to be successful as a practicing veterinary technician, you must first search for and ultimately enroll in a school that will provide the required education and training. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. When they have located some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the programs you are examining. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the varied duties of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
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Vet Tech Degree Options
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are numerous duties that they can perform within the Maricopa AZ veterinary clinic 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 technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern 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 technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their usual functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and normally acquire 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 function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Maricopa AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Maricopa AZ area and across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician schools that you are considering.
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 organization. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for many Maricopa AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions 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 relating to your targeted schools. As a final pointer, contact some Maricopa AZ vet clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs arranged with Maricopa AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local veterinary community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Maricopa AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate 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 bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Maricopa AZ programs you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in some 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 determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Maricopa 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 commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinarian colleges you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Maricopa AZ. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies. You may find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Chosse the Right Maricopa Vet Technologist College
Enrolling in the right veterinary technician school is a critical first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students considering veterinary technician schools need to make their selection based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the right school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Maricopa Arizona.