How to Select the Best Vet Tech College Near Green Valley Arizona
Realizing your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech college near Green Valley AZ might at first feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle assessing and comparing colleges so that you can make the proper selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. Once they have identified some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when comparing vet tech programs, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician schools you are looking at before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the different duties of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Green Valley AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by graduating from 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 performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years. So the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician 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 also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Green Valley AZ labs or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Programs Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Green Valley AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for example for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary technician program may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Green Valley AZ area and across the USA, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous review process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for many Green Valley AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and speaking 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 suggestion, phone some Green Valley AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some colleges 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 professional environment. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Green Valley AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate could indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Green Valley AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Green Valley AZ schools you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Green Valley AZ home, you need to make certain that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's essential that you ascertain if the vet programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Green Valley AZ. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of sickness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Green Valley Veterinary Technologist School
Picking the appropriate veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students looking into veterinary technician colleges need to make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks 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 applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Green Valley Arizona.