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How to Select the Right Vet Technician Training Program Near Kenai Alaska

Kenai Alaska vet tech holding nervous dogAchieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Kenai AK may initially seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will furnish the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their residences. Once they have located some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important concerns when comparing vet technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll discuss the different duties of veterinary technicians and the training options available.

Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists

Kenai Alaska veterinary tech examining kittens

Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the main factor will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Kenai AK veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialization.

  • Vet Assistants in most cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and generally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably 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 vary from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated functions, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically carry out the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real difference 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 possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.

Vet technicians and technologists can 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  Kenai AK laboratories or research facilities also.

Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered

Kenai Alaska pup wearing surgical coneAn approach that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Kenai AK veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for commuting and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just be sure that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician school may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools

By now you should have decided on which veterinary degree that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Kenai AK area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician schools that you are reviewing.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It's essential that you make sure that the vet tech college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 gone through a thorough screening process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for many Kenai AK area vet clinics and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The vet trade school or college and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Kenai AK vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The most effective approach to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with Kenai AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local vet community and help in the search for a position after graduation.

Is there a Job Placement Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate could signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Kenai AK veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Kenai AK programs you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Okay, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Kenai AK home, you need to make certain that the commuting 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 school is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary colleges you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Kenai AK. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family issues. You might find that an online college is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.

Find Out More About Kenai Veterinary Technologist Schools

Choose the Right Kenai Vet Technologist College

Picking the right vet tech school is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students looking into veterinary technician programs need to make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Kenai Alaska.


 

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