How to Find the Best Vet Technician Degree Program Near Golden Valley Arizona
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Golden Valley AZ may at first feel like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will deliver the necessary training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their residences. When they have found some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant considerations when evaluating vet technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the vet tech schools you are evaluating before you make a final choice. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll discuss the various roles of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Golden Valley AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, 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 involved with more involved undertakings, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are included in more complicated duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Golden Valley AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Online Vet Tech Programs Offered
An option that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Golden Valley AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, such as for commuting and study materials, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the program 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 complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech program may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Schools
By now you should have determined which veterinary degree that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Golden Valley AZ area as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. 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 confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for many Golden Valley AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you enroll in must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final tip, phone some Golden Valley AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs arranged with Golden Valley AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate could signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Golden Valley AZ vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Golden Valley AZ colleges you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Golden Valley AZ home, you have to make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located near or in a large city. Also, if you do choose 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. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the vet programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Golden Valley AZ. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to sickness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Choose the Right Golden Valley Veterinary Technologist Program
Choosing the appropriate veterinary technician college is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students considering veterinary technician programs need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Golden Valley Arizona.