Veterinary Technician College
How to Pick the Right One Near Scottsdale Arizona
Choosing a veterinary technician school near Scottsdale AZ to achieve your passionate goal to help and care for animals may from the start seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you must find and enroll in a college that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. And so that you pick the best one you must evaluate and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their homes. Once they have found some local schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated also. The main point is that prior to making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the programs you are assessing. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the different responsibilities of vet techs and the training options available.
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Vet Technician Degree Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a veterinary 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 education, but the main factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Scottsdale AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, 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 vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically perform the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Scottsdale AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Schools Offered
An alternative that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Scottsdale AZ veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, such as for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinary degree that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Scottsdale AZ area as well as across the United States, you should ask some important questions to help 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 touched on other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that verifies 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 available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for many Scottsdale AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with internet school ranking websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations 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 pointer, contact some Scottsdale AZ veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with Scottsdale AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate could signify that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Scottsdale AZ vet community and has a significant 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 assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Scottsdale AZ colleges you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already discussed 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 Scottsdale AZ home, you must make certain that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a school 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 classes online could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinary schools you are exploring 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 attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Scottsdale AZ. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies. You might find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Chosse the Best Scottsdale Veterinary Technologist College
Choosing the right veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about vet tech colleges must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech colleges 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 decision. And by picking the right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Scottsdale Arizona.