How to Pick the Best Vet Tech Training Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Drexel Heights AZ might at first feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you go about assessing and comparing schools so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. Once they have found some local colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant concerns when assessing vet tech programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the varied roles of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish 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 determiner will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of jobs that they can perform within the Drexel Heights AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured 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 veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared with assistants and typically acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires 4 years. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Drexel Heights AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Schools Offered
An option that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available through the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Drexel Heights AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for travel and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech school may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
By now you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Drexel Heights AZ area as well as across the Country, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. 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 veterinary technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's essential that you make sure that the veterinary technician school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Drexel Heights AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations 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 pointer, phone some Drexel Heights AZ veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to obtain practical 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 established with Drexel Heights AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate could suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Drexel Heights AZ programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students concerning 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 School Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Drexel Heights AZ home, you must confirm 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 drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you determine if the vet colleges you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Drexel Heights AZ. Some might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Choose the Best Drexel Heights Vet Technologist School
Selecting the ideal vet tech college is a critical first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech schools need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work 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 covered, it's very important that you decide on 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 included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Drexel Heights Arizona.