Veterinary Technician Training Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Phoenix Arizona
Finding a veterinary technician school near Phoenix AZ to achieve your lifelong desire to help and care for our pets may from the start feel like an overwhelming challenge. But to be successful as a working veterinary technician, you must first locate and finally enroll in a school that will provide the necessary education and training. And in order to pick the right one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many future students begin their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have found some local colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician programs you are reviewing before you make a final selection. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the varied roles of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
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Vet Technician Training Options
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of duties that they can carry out within the Phoenix AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared with assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved duties, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam 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 Phoenix AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you should have selected which veterinary degree that you wish to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Phoenix AZ area and across the USA, you should ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's essential that you verify that the vet tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough screening process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Phoenix AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an excellent 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 assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating 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 infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Phoenix AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Phoenix AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Phoenix AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Phoenix AZ colleges you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Phoenix AZ home, you must make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinary colleges you are considering 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 Phoenix AZ. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online college is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Chosse the Right Phoenix Vet Technologist Program
Enrolling in the ideal veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students considering vet tech colleges must make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs 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 decision. And by choosing the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Phoenix Arizona.