How to Find the Best Veterinary Technician Program Near Glendale Arizona
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech program near Glendale AZ could at first seem like a challenging task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their residences. After they have identified some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important concerns when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet tech schools you are considering 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 go over the varied responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both 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 Glendale AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual 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 compared with assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years. So the only real 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 opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may 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 Glendale AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Vet Tech Online Schools Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Glendale AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for instance for traveling and study supplies, may be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just be sure 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 practical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian degree that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Glendale AZ area as well as across the USA, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech 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). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive review process that verifies you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Glendale AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Glendale AZ veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Glendale AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the school has an excellent reputation within the Glendale AZ veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Glendale AZ home, you have to confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you determine if the vet programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Glendale AZ. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. In addition, find out 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 school is the best way to fit your vet education into your active life.
Choose the Best Glendale Veterinary Technologist School
Enrolling in the appropriate veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students thinking about veterinary technician colleges must make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the right school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Glendale Arizona.