Vet Technician Training
How to Select the Right One Near Prescott Arizona
Finding a veterinary technician school near Prescott AZ to achieve your heartfelt goal to work with and care for our pets might from the start seem like an enormous task. But in order to succeed as a working veterinary technician, you need to first search for and ultimately enroll in a program that will provide the required training and education. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing programs so that you can make the best choice? When looking for vet tech schools, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes. When they have found some local colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when comparing veterinary technician schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent aspects of the programs you are evaluating. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the different responsibilities of vet techs and the training options offered.
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Vet Tech Degree Options
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can perform within the Prescott AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have completed a structured 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 performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are included in more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years. So 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 career options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs 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 also.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you should have determined which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Prescott AZ area and across the USA, you need to ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's important that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive review process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for many Prescott AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating 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 violations involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Prescott AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Prescott AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate may suggest that the teachers 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 school has an exceptional reputation within the Prescott AZ veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Prescott AZ schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Prescott AZ home, you need to confirm 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the school is located in or close by 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 increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's imperative that you ascertain if the veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Prescott AZ. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family emergencies. You may find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Chosse the Best Prescott Vet Technologist College
Enrolling in the right veterinary technician college is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering veterinary technician colleges need to make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech colleges 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 picking the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Prescott Arizona.