How to Enroll In the Right Vet Tech Training Program Near Gilbert Arizona
Fulfilling your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Gilbert AZ may initially feel like an overwhelming task. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will deliver the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach reviewing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their homes. When they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech programs you are considering before you make a final choice. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the various duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you want to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous functions that they can carry out within the Gilbert AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal 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 activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared to assistants and normally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Gilbert AZ labs or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Schools Offered
An option that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Gilbert AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, such as for travel and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician school may be the ideal choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian degree that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Gilbert AZ area and across the Country, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier 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 an extensive screening process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Gilbert AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online 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 grievances or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Gilbert AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with Gilbert AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the program has an excellent reputation within the Gilbert AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify 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 sized, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Gilbert AZ programs you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Gilbert AZ home, you have to make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college 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, attending classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's essential that you ascertain if the veterinary schools you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Gilbert AZ. Some may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You may find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Choose the Right Gilbert Vet Technologist School
Picking the appropriate vet tech school is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Students looking into veterinary technician programs must make their determination based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the right school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Gilbert Arizona.