Veterinary Technician Training
How to Pick the Right One Near Prescott Arizona
Finding a veterinary technician school near Prescott AZ to fulfill your lifelong desire to help and provide medical treatment for our pets may initially seem like an overwhelming task. But to be successful as a practicing veterinary technician, you must first locate and ultimately enroll in a program that will provide the necessary education and training. And in order to pick the best one you must research and compare each of the schools you have placed on your short list. When checking out vet tech schools, many potential students start by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes. Once they have located some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when assessing vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician schools you are looking at before you make an ultimate choice. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the different duties of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
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Vet Technician Education Options
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Prescott AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone 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 trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years to complete. So the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Prescott AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Schools
By now you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Prescott AZ area and across the USA, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous review process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Prescott AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Prescott AZ veterinarians that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Prescott AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local vet community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate might suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the college has an excellent reputation within the Prescott AZ veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Prescott AZ programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Prescott AZ home, you must make certain 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 commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important that you ascertain if the veterinarian schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Prescott AZ. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Prescott Veterinary Technologist College
Selecting the right vet tech program is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech programs must make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you enroll in 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 provided in our checklist for evaluating 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 vet tech in Prescott Arizona.