How to Enroll In the Best Vet Technician School Near Golden Valley Arizona
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Golden Valley AZ may at first seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you go about analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the correct choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their residences. Once they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet tech schools you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll discuss the varied responsibilities of vet techs and the training options available.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first 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 based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous functions that they can perform within the Golden Valley AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most 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 trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Golden Valley AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Schools Offered
An option that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian college 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 syllabus is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Golden Valley AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for commuting and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary technician program may be the perfect option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you should have determined which veterinarian credential that you wish to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Golden Valley AZ area as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to select a school 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 veterinary technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's important that you confirm that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough review process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a precondition for employment for many Golden Valley AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some Golden Valley AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs arranged with Golden Valley AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could signify that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Golden Valley AZ veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not well regarded 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 personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Golden Valley AZ schools you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Golden Valley AZ home, you need 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 near a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit 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 Golden Valley AZ. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family emergencies. You may find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Choose the Right Golden Valley Veterinary Technologist School
Picking the appropriate vet tech school is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students looking into veterinary technician colleges need to make their determination based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Golden Valley Arizona.