How to Pick the Right Veterinary Technician Training Program Near Goodyear Arizona
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Goodyear AZ might at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a program that will provide the proper training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the correct selection? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their residences. Once they have located some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important factors when comparing vet technician programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll explore the varied roles of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Goodyear AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared with assistants and generally obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex functions, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Goodyear AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Technician Schools Offered
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided over the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Goodyear AZ veterinary practice 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 supplies, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician program may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you want 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, technical and vocational schools in the Goodyear AZ area and across the Country, you must ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that verifies you will obtain a superior 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. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a requirement for employment for many Goodyear AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on online school ranking 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 targeted schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Goodyear AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs established with Goodyear AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the school has an outstanding reputation within the Goodyear AZ veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Goodyear AZ programs you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students relating to 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 College Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Goodyear AZ home, you must make certain that the driving 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 close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a school 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, taking classes online may 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 imperative that you find out if the veterinary programs you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Goodyear AZ. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Choose the Right Goodyear Veterinary Technologist School
Choosing the right vet tech college is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students looking into vet tech programs must make their selection based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Goodyear Arizona.