How to Pick the Right Veterinary Technician School Near Auburn Alabama
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet tech program near Auburn AL might initially feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their residences. After they have identified some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when comparing veterinary technician schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary technician programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the various responsibilities of vet techs and the training options available.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Auburn AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through 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 veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex activities, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training in contrast to assistants and generally obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts 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 engaged in more involved duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years. So 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 job options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Auburn AL labs or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Programs Offered
An alternative that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Auburn AL veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, such as for travel and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you should have determined which veterinary degree that you would like to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Auburn AL area and across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, 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 an extensive screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Auburn AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your specific schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Auburn AL veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with Auburn AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate might suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Auburn AL veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not well 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 larger in size, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Auburn AL colleges you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Auburn AL home, you have to make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online could be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you determine if the vet schools you are looking at offer class times flexible enough 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 at night near Auburn AL. Others might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Auburn Vet Technologist Program
Selecting the right veterinary technician college is an important first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary technician colleges must make their determination based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Auburn Alabama.