Vet Technician School
How to Select the Right One Near Prescott Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Prescott AZ to achieve your lifelong goal to help and provide medical treatment for our pets might from the start feel like an overwhelming challenge. But in order to succeed as a working veterinary technician, you need to first search for and finally enroll in a program that will provide the necessary education and training. And so that you pick the right one you must evaluate and compare all of the schools you are considering. Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. After they have found some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important factors when evaluating vet technician schools, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are looking at before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the varied responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.
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Vet Tech Training Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish 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 primary determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many duties that they can perform within the Prescott AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling 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 equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 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 career options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Prescott AZ labs or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Programs Available
An approach that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Prescott AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary degree that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Prescott AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to choose a school 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 vet tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, one of 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 demanding screening process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Prescott AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Prescott AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish 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 most effective approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs arranged with Prescott AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical 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 Job Assistance Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate might mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Prescott AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Prescott AZ colleges you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Prescott AZ home, you must confirm that the commuting 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, especially if the school is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's important that you find out if the vet colleges you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Prescott AZ. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies. You might find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Prescott Veterinary Technologist College
Enrolling in the appropriate vet tech school is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Students looking into veterinary technician schools need to make their determination based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as 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 applies to online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the ideal college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Prescott Arizona.