Vet Technician Degree Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Prescott Valley Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Prescott Valley AZ to achieve your heartfelt goal to help and provide medical treatment for animals might from the start seem like an overwhelming challenge. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will deliver the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. And so that you pick the right one you must research and compare all of the schools you are considering. Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. Once they have identified some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when assessing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered as well. The bottom line is that prior to making a selection, you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are reviewing. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the varied roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Tech Education Options
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are a number of jobs that they can perform within the Prescott Valley AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and typically acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Prescott Valley AZ area as well as across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist 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 veterinary technician college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive 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 obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is frequently a requirement for employment for many Prescott Valley AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Prescott Valley AZ vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs established with Prescott Valley AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate may indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Prescott Valley AZ colleges you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students regarding 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? Okay, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Prescott Valley AZ home, you have to confirm 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's essential that you determine if the vet colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Prescott Valley AZ. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet training into your active life.
Chosse the Right Prescott Valley Veterinary Technologist Program
Enrolling in the right vet tech program is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students looking into vet tech programs need to make their selection based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Prescott Valley Arizona.