Veterinary Technician Training
How to Choose the Right One Near San Tan Valley Arizona
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech college near San Tan Valley AZ might at first seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. And so that you pick the right one you must evaluate and compare all of the schools you are considering. Many potential students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their homes. When they have identified some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech programs, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Internship and job placement 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 need to be asking the vet tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final decision. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the various duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
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Vet Tech Degree Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision may be predicated 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 all work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous functions that they can perform within the San Tan Valley AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared with assistants and typically acquire a two 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 fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and basically carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in San Tan Valley AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinarian degree that you want to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the San Tan Valley AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's essential that you make sure that the veterinary technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 an extensive screening process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for many San Tan Valley AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final pointer, contact some San Tan Valley AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with San Tan Valley AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the school has an exceptional reputation within the San Tan Valley AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the San Tan Valley AZ schools you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your San Tan Valley AZ home, you must make certain that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, 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 school 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, attending classes online could be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's essential that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near San Tan Valley AZ. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies. You might find that an online college is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Enroll in the Best San Tan Valley Vet Technologist School
Selecting the appropriate veterinary technician college is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students looking into veterinary technician programs must make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the ideal program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in San Tan Valley Arizona.