How to Select the Best Veterinary Technician Training Near El Mirage Arizona
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near El Mirage AZ could initially seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach analyzing and contrasting schools so that you can make the correct selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. When they have identified some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when evaluating veterinary technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are reviewing before you make an ultimate choice. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the various roles of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are numerous duties that they can perform within the El Mirage AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by graduating from 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. Usually they are not involved with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in El Mirage AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Schools Offered
An approach that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local El Mirage AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for instance for traveling and study materials, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make certain that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided 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 right option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you want to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the El Mirage AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary 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 stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive screening process that ensures you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of El Mirage AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements 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 complaints or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some El Mirage AZ veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best way to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs arranged with El Mirage AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help develop connections in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate could mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the school has an exceptional reputation within the El Mirage AZ veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the El Mirage AZ programs you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your El Mirage AZ home, you have to confirm that the driving 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 close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's essential that you ascertain if the veterinarian schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near El Mirage AZ. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online program is the best way to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Choose the Right El Mirage Veterinary Technologist School
Selecting the ideal vet tech school is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students considering veterinary technician schools need to make their determination based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, 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 applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the ideal program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in El Mirage Arizona.