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How to Choose the Right Vet Technician College Near Chandler Arizona

Chandler Arizona vet technician calming nervous dogFulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Chandler AZ could at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you go about analyzing and contrasting schools so that you can make the right choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. When they have located some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important considerations when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician schools you are looking at before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the different responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.

Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists

Chandler Arizona vet technician examining kittens

Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Chandler AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.

  • Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, 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 execution of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians receive more extensive training in contrast to assistants and generally earn 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 function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.

Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Chandler AZ labs or research facilities also.

Vet Tech Online Schools Offered

Chandler Arizona dog with surgical coneAn alternative that might be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Chandler AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for traveling and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician program may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges

At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area as well as across the USA, you need to ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.

Is the Vet College Accredited?  It's important that you confirm that the veterinary technician college 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). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Chandler AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Chandler AZ veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with Chandler AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Placement Offered?  Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate might suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Chandler AZ veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger sized, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chandler AZ colleges you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Okay, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Chandler AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with 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 college is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it's important that you find out if the vet colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Chandler AZ. Some might only be able to go to 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 might miss because of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.

Find Out More About Chandler Vet Technologist Programs

Enroll in the Right Chandler Veterinary Technologist Program

Enrolling in the right vet tech college is a critical first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Students considering veterinary technician programs must make their selection based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the best program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Chandler Arizona.


 

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