How to Select the Best Vet Tech Degree Program Near Chandler Arizona
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near Chandler AZ may at first feel like a challenging task. After all, you must find and enroll in a school that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you tackle analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their residences. After they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the varied duties of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
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 determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many functions that they can carry out within the Chandler AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing 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. Normally they are not associated with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and typically obtain 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 fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the main difference 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 required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may obtain 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 alternative that might be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary 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 course of study is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Chandler AZ veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for instance for commuting and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician program may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you should have determined which veterinary degree that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Chandler AZ area as well as across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for many Chandler AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, call some Chandler AZ vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience 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 practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the school has an excellent reputation within the Chandler AZ veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Chandler AZ colleges you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. 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 several more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Chandler AZ home, you have to make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located in or close by a larger city. Also, 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 especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Chandler AZ. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies. You may find that an online school is the best way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Choose the Best Chandler Vet Technologist Program
Picking the ideal vet tech school is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into veterinary technician colleges must make their determination based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Chandler Arizona.