Veterinary Technician School
How to Find the Right One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Oro Valley AZ to fulfill your heartfelt goal to work with and care for our pets might from the start feel like an overwhelming task. But to be successful as a practicing veterinary technician, you need to first locate and ultimately enroll in a program that will provide the required training and education. And so that you pick the right one you must research and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. Once they have identified some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant considerations when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician schools you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Tech Degree Options
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Oro Valley AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally earn a 2 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 function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex functions, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years to complete. 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 work options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Vet Tech Schools
At this point you should have selected which veterinarian degree that you would like to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Oro Valley AZ area as well as 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 introduction, many potential students start by concentrating 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 enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among 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 demanding review process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for many Oro Valley AZ area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Oro Valley AZ veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend one or more schools 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 professional setting. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Oro Valley AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate could signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Oro Valley AZ vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean that the training is not well regarded 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 probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Oro Valley AZ schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Oro Valley AZ home, you must make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinarian colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Oro Valley AZ. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Oro Valley Vet Technologist Program
Picking the right veterinary technician school is a critical first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students considering vet tech colleges need to make their determination based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Oro Valley Arizona.