Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many functions that they can perform within the Alabama veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from 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. Normally they are not associated with more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are included in more complicated duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years. Therefore 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, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Alabama laboratories or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An approach that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Alabama veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for commuting and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical 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 program may be the right choice for you.