How to Select the Right Veterinary Technician College Near Goodyear Arizona
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet tech school near Goodyear AZ might at first feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. Once they have located some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when comparing vet technician schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the various roles of vet techs and the training options available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. 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 determiner will most likely be which specialty 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 although there are many tasks that they can perform within the Goodyear AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. 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 complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and generally obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and possible 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 internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Goodyear AZ labs or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus 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 portion can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Goodyear AZ veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for example for travel and study supplies, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you choose 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 comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian degree 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, trade and vocational schools in the Goodyear AZ area and across the Country, you must ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Goodyear AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary 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 pointers include looking on 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 complaints or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Goodyear AZ vet clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Goodyear AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Goodyear AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Goodyear AZ schools you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Goodyear AZ home, you need to make certain 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located in or close by a large city. In addition, 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 taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you ascertain if the veterinarian schools you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Goodyear AZ. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online school is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Goodyear Veterinary Technologist Program
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician program is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering veterinary technician schools need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Goodyear Arizona.