How to Choose the Right Vet Tech Degree Program Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech school near Drexel Heights AZ could at first feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training so 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 ideal selection? Many future students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their residences. After they have identified some local schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when comparing vet technician programs, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the different duties of vet techs and the training options available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the main factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous duties that they can carry out within the Drexel Heights AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Drexel Heights AZ labs or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Schools Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinarian school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using multiple methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Drexel Heights AZ veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for example for commuting and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. 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 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 veterinary technician program may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian degree that you wish to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Drexel Heights AZ area and across the United States, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to choose a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's essential that you make sure that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Drexel Heights AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with internet school ranking 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 concerning your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Drexel Heights AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the colleges you are considering have internship programs established with Drexel Heights AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Drexel Heights AZ programs you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Drexel Heights AZ home, you must make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or close by 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 charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Drexel Heights AZ. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Veterinary Technologist School
Selecting the appropriate vet tech program is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering veterinary technician programs need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Drexel Heights Arizona.