Veterinary Technician School
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Oro Valley AZ may at first seem like an overwhelming task. But in order to succeed as a practicing veterinary technician, you need to first locate and ultimately enroll in a school that will provide the necessary education and training. And so that you pick the right one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. When looking for vet tech schools, many potential students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when comparing veterinary technician schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you need to carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the various duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Training Options
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous duties that they can perform within the Oro Valley AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and usually acquire a 2 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 vary from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex activities, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years. So the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can 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 Oro Valley AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you probably have selected which veterinary degree that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Oro Valley AZ area and across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for many Oro Valley AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Oro Valley AZ vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with Oro Valley AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate might indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Oro Valley AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Oro Valley AZ schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Oro Valley AZ home, you have to make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located close by or within 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 fees particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you determine if the veterinary schools you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Oro Valley AZ. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Oro Valley Veterinary Technologist Program
Selecting the appropriate veterinary technician program is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering vet tech schools need to make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you decide on 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 included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the ideal college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Oro Valley Arizona.