How to Select the Best Vet Tech Training Program Near Gilbert Arizona
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Gilbert AZ may initially seem like a challenging task. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will furnish the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. After they have identified some area schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important factors when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the varied duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be predicated 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 techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can carry out within the Gilbert AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts 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 complicated duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially perform the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years to complete. Therefore 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 job options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also 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 emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Gilbert AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Programs Offered
An approach that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment 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 reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, for example for traveling and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary technician program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
By now you probably have determined which veterinary degree that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Gilbert AZ area and across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade 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 important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for many Gilbert AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Gilbert AZ vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive 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 best way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Gilbert AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate might signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some 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 high placement rate could indicate that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Gilbert AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Gilbert AZ programs you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Gilbert AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting time fits into 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 campus is located in or close by a larger city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for state and community 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 finally, it's important that you find out if the veterinary programs you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Gilbert AZ. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online college is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Gilbert Veterinary Technologist Program
Choosing the right veterinary technician school is an important first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students looking into veterinary technician colleges must make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges 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 picking the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Gilbert Arizona.