Veterinary Technician Training
How to Choose the Right One Near Phoenix Arizona
Achieving your long term goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near Phoenix AZ might at first seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. And so that you pick the best one you must evaluate and compare each of the schools you are considering. When checking out vet tech schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes. After they have identified some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the schools you are examining. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the various duties of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
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Vet Tech Education Options
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many duties that they can carry out within the Phoenix AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, 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 performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Phoenix AZ labs or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Phoenix AZ veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for example for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech program may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you probably have determined which veterinary degree that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Phoenix AZ area as well as across the Country, you should ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, 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 an extensive screening process that confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of Phoenix AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on 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 complaints or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Phoenix AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs set up with Phoenix AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many 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 vet community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate may signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the program has an excellent reputation within the Phoenix AZ veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Phoenix AZ schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Phoenix AZ home, you need to make sure 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college 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 community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's imperative that you find out if the vet colleges you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, 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 class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies. You might find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Phoenix Veterinary Technologist School
Choosing the right vet tech college is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students looking into vet tech colleges need to make their determination based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the ideal program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Phoenix Arizona.