Vet Technician College
How to Find the Right One Near Prescott Arizona
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near Prescott AZ might initially feel like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a program that will provide the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. And in order to pick the best one you must research and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. When they have identified some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important factors when comparing vet tech programs, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into also. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must carry out your due diligence and compare all relevant aspects of the schools you are evaluating. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the various duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Technician Training Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the principal determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous duties that they can perform within the Prescott AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern 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 techs in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared with assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general 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 complicated activities, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years. So the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Prescott AZ labs or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential 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 veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Prescott AZ area as well as across the United States, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Prescott AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with 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 specific schools. As a final tip, contact some Prescott AZ veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the colleges you are considering have internship programs arranged with Prescott AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate could signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the program has an excellent reputation within the Prescott AZ veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective 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. Solicit from the Prescott AZ programs you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Prescott AZ home, you must confirm that the commuting 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 school is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in 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. Of course attending online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's essential that you determine if the veterinarian colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Prescott AZ. Others may 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 discover that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Prescott Veterinary Technologist Program
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering veterinary technician colleges must make their decision based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Prescott Arizona.