How to Find the Right Vet Tech School Near Chandler Arizona
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet tech school near Chandler AZ may at first feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you approach analyzing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the right selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. When they have found some area schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when assessing vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet tech schools you are looking at before you make a final decision. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the various duties of vet techs and the training options offered.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. 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 factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Chandler AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and generally acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally 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 differ from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar 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 generally takes 4 years. Therefore 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 career opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Chandler AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Technician Schools Offered
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Chandler AZ veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, such as for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. 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 mode, an online vet tech program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you should have determined which veterinary credential that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Chandler AZ area as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for many Chandler AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Chandler AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Chandler AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local vet community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate could suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Chandler AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chandler AZ programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Chandler AZ home, you must make sure 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located near or in a larger 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 costs particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's imperative that you find out if the vet programs you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Chandler AZ. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family emergencies. You may find that an online college is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Chandler Vet Technologist Program
Selecting the right veterinary technician program is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Students considering veterinary technician programs must make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Chandler Arizona.