How to Choose the Best Vet Technician Training Program Near Glendale Arizona
Realizing your long term goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Glendale AZ could initially seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their homes. Once they have found some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the various roles of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Glendale AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have undergone a structured 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. Normally they are not involved with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared to assistants and generally obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Glendale AZ labs or research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Technician Schools Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally 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, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet tech program may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Vet Tech Schools
By now you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you wish to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Glendale AZ area and across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive review process that confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for a number of Glendale AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Glendale AZ vet clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs established with Glendale AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school 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 considering. A lower rate could 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 colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Glendale AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Glendale AZ schools you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Glendale AZ home, you must make sure that the driving time fits into 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 school is located close by or within a large 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 higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's imperative that you ascertain if the veterinary colleges you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Glendale AZ. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Right Glendale Vet Technologist Program
Selecting the right veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students looking into vet tech colleges need to make their determination based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Glendale Arizona.