How to Choose the Right Veterinary Technician Training Program Near Auburn Alabama
Realizing your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Auburn AL could at first seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you have to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their residences. After they have located some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant considerations when assessing vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of 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 preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many duties that they can perform within the Auburn AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians 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 education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice 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 veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training in contrast to assistants and generally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years to complete. So the main 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, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians 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 Auburn AL labs or research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Technician Schools Offered
An alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Auburn AL veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech school may be the right option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Schools
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian degree that you wish to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Auburn AL area and across the USA, you need to ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for many Auburn AL area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, call some Auburn AL veterinarians that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Auburn AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate might indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the college has an excellent reputation within the Auburn AL veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may 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 bigger, you most likely will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Auburn AL programs you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback 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 College Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Auburn AL home, you must confirm that the driving time fits into 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 campus is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's imperative that you determine if the vet schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Auburn AL. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family issues. You may find that an online school is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Auburn Vet Technologist Program
Selecting the right vet tech program is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students thinking about veterinary technician programs need to make their selection based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the best school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Auburn Alabama.