Veterinary Technician School
How to Choose the Best One Near New River Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near New River AZ to fulfill your heartfelt desire to work with and care for our pets might initially seem like an enormous task. But to be successful as a working veterinary technician, you need to first search for and finally enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training and education. But just how do you tackle assessing and contrasting schools so that you can make the best selection? When checking out vet tech schools, many potential students start by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes. When they have found some local schools, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers 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 schools you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the different responsibilities of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Technician Degree Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the New River AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally acquire 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 general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years to complete. 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 work options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in New River AZ labs or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the New River AZ area as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to select a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's essential that you verify that the veterinary technician program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for a number of New River AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some New River AZ veterinarians that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with New River AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local veterinary community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate may indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the college has an outstanding reputation within the New River AZ veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big 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 New River AZ programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your New River AZ home, you must make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, 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 larger 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 particularly for state and community colleges. Of course 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 last, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate 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 New River AZ. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Chosse the Right New River Veterinary Technologist College
Picking the appropriate veterinary technician school is an important first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Students considering veterinary technician programs must make their determination based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided 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 selecting the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in New River Arizona.