How to Find the Right Veterinary Technician School Near Chandler Arizona
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Chandler AZ might initially seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the proper choice? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their homes. Once they have located some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the various roles of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous jobs that they can perform within the Chandler AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, 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 technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared with assistants and usually acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real 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 possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Chandler AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Veterinary Technician Online Programs Offered
An option that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered through the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually 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, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for example for traveling and study supplies, may be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician program may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary degree that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Chandler AZ area and across the Country, you should ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to choose a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for a number of Chandler AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final pointer, get in touch with some Chandler AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Chandler AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Chandler AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial 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 assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Chandler AZ colleges you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Chandler AZ home, you must make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located near or in a large city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate 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 classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of sickness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online program is the best solution to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Chandler Veterinary Technologist Program
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students considering veterinary technician schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Chandler Arizona.