How to Pick the Best Vet Tech School Near Chandler Arizona
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet tech program near Chandler AZ could at first seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you have to find and enroll in a college that will provide the appropriate 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 selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. When they have found some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the varied responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire 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 devote to your training, but the principal determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can perform within the Chandler AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated tasks, such as 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 pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved activities, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years to complete. So 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 opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Chandler AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An option that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can typically be carried out 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 reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for example for travel and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more standard classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical 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 perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you should have selected which veterinary degree that you want to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area and across the USA, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help 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 touched on other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough screening process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for many Chandler AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Chandler AZ veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Chandler AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A low rate might indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study 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 ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Chandler AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly regarded 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 may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Chandler AZ programs you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Chandler AZ home, you must make certain that the driving time is compatible with 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, particularly if the campus is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary schools you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Chandler AZ. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered prior to 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 program is the best solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Choose the Best Chandler Veterinary Technologist Program
Selecting the appropriate vet tech college is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students looking into vet tech programs need to make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when 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 programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Chandler Arizona.