How to Find the Best Vet Technician Training Program Near Golden Valley Arizona
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Golden Valley AZ might at first feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting programs so that you can make the best choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. When they have found some area schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when comparing vet technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician schools you are considering before you make a final choice. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the various roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives 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, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of tasks that they can carry out within the Golden Valley AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated functions, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore 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 work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians 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 as well.
Online Veterinary Technician Schools Offered
An option that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be completed 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 many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for commuting and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary technician school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Programs
By now you should have determined which veterinarian degree that you wish to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Golden Valley AZ area as well as across the United States, you should ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down 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 pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician schools that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the vet tech college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 gone through a rigorous screening process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Golden Valley AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with internet school ranking websites and checking with 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 specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Golden Valley AZ vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through 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 best approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs established with Golden Valley AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school 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 considering. A lower rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the school has an excellent reputation within the Golden Valley AZ vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Golden Valley AZ schools you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Golden Valley AZ home, you must confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's essential that you find out if the veterinarian schools you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Golden Valley AZ. Some may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of sickness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Golden Valley Veterinary Technologist Program
Picking the ideal vet tech school is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about veterinary technician colleges need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the ideal school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Golden Valley Arizona.