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How to Find the Best Vet Technician Program Near Golden Valley Arizona

Golden Valley Arizona vet tech holding nervous dogFulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Golden Valley AZ might at first feel like a challenging undertaking. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a program that will deliver the proper training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you approach analyzing and contrasting programs so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their residences. When they have identified some area colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician schools you are looking at before you make a final selection. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the various duties of vet techs and the training options offered.

Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists

Golden Valley Arizona veterinary technician examining kittens

Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are numerous functions that they can perform within the Golden Valley AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each position.

  • Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more involved undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more complicated functions, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.

Vet techs 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  Golden Valley AZ labs or research facilities also.

Vet Tech Online Schools Offered

Golden Valley Arizona dog wearing surgical coneAn option that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be completed 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 many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary technician school may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs

At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you want to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Golden Valley AZ area and across the Country, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary School Accredited?  It's essential that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you select 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 ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Golden Valley AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The vet vocational school or college and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school ranking 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 violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Golden Valley AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with Golden Valley AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local vet community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.

Is there a Job Placement Program?  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 colleges you are evaluating. A low rate may indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Golden Valley AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Golden Valley AZ schools you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Okay, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Golden Valley AZ home, you must make certain that the driving 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, especially if the campus is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Golden Valley AZ. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family issues. You may find that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet education into your active life.

Find Out More About Golden Valley Veterinary Tech Programs

Choose the Best Golden Valley Vet Technologist Program

Enrolling in the appropriate vet tech college is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Students considering vet tech schools need to make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the right school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Golden Valley Arizona.


 

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