How to Find the Right Veterinary Technician School Near Glendale Arizona
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech school near Glendale AZ could at first seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing colleges so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their homes. When they have found some area colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when assessing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are evaluating before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll discuss the varied responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan 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 determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many functions that they can perform within the Glendale AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. So 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 career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Glendale AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Programs Offered
An option that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Glendale AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make certain 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 provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech program may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Glendale AZ area and across the USA, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 review process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for a number of Glendale AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions concerning your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Glendale AZ vet clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with Glendale AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local vet community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate could suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Glendale AZ veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Glendale AZ programs you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Glendale AZ home, you must confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinarian schools you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Glendale AZ. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Glendale Vet Technologist Program
Enrolling in the right veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career providing treatment and care for animals. Students thinking about veterinary technician programs must make their selection based on a number of 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 animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. 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 choices so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the right college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Glendale Arizona.