How to Find the Best Veterinary Technician College Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Achieving your long term goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet tech program near Drexel Heights AZ might initially seem like a challenging task. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a program that will deliver the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you approach reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the right selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their residences. Once they have identified some area colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important factors when assessing vet technician programs, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the varied duties of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Drexel Heights AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational 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 associated with more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared with assistants and usually earn 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 basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially perform the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years to complete. Therefore the main difference 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 required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Drexel Heights AZ labs or research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Technician Schools Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Drexel Heights AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online veterinary technician school may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian degree that you would like to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Drexel Heights AZ area as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's imperative that you verify that the vet tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, 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 Drexel Heights AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet 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 complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Drexel Heights AZ vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with Drexel Heights AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech college 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 indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Drexel Heights AZ schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Drexel Heights AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located in or near 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 higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important that you determine if the veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, 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 attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Vet Technologist Program
Enrolling in the ideal veterinary technician college is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about vet tech colleges must make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, 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 programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the best program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Drexel Heights Arizona.