How to Choose the Best Veterinary Technician School Near Douglas Arizona
Fulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Douglas AZ could initially seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you must locate and enroll in a school that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing programs so that you can make the best choice? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their residences. After they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate selection. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the various roles of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal factor 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 direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many jobs that they can perform within the Douglas AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years. So the only real difference 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 additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Douglas 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 attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Douglas AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for instance for travel and study supplies, may be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech program may be the ideal choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs
At this point you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you would like to earn, 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 trade schools in the Douglas AZ area as well as across the USA, you must ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 demanding review process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Douglas AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Douglas AZ vet clinics that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with Douglas AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Douglas AZ veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Douglas AZ programs you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Douglas AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located near or in a large city. In addition, 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 fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Douglas 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 offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies. You might find that an online college is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Choose the Right Douglas Veterinary Technologist College
Selecting the appropriate vet tech school is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering veterinary technician colleges need to make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. 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 choices so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the ideal program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Douglas Arizona.