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How to Find the Right Vet Technician Degree Program Near Goodyear Arizona

Goodyear Arizona vet tech holding nervous dogRealizing your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Goodyear AZ might initially feel like a challenging task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will deliver the necessary training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their homes. When they have located some local colleges, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when comparing veterinary technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating before you make a final decision. We have presented several within this article 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.

Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists

Goodyear Arizona vet technician checking kittens

Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can perform within the Goodyear AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each specialization.

  • Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed 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 technicians in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years. Therefore the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.

Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Goodyear AZ labs or research facilities as well.

Veterinary Technician Online Programs Offered

Goodyear Arizona pup with surgical coneAn alternative that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Goodyear AZ veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, such as for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet tech program may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools

At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you wish to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Goodyear AZ area as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary College Accredited?  It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous review process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Goodyear AZ area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the College's Reputation?  The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Goodyear AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with Goodyear AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Provided?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the school has an outstanding reputation within the Goodyear AZ vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Goodyear AZ colleges you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students concerning 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?  Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. 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 fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially 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 fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it's imperative that you find out if the vet programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Goodyear AZ. Some might only be able to attend 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 may miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.

Find Out More About Goodyear Vet Technician Programs

Enroll in the Right Goodyear Veterinary Technologist Program

Enrolling in the ideal vet tech school is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for animals. Future students considering veterinary technician programs need to make their decision based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools 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 picking the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Goodyear Arizona.


 

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