How to Select the Right Vet Tech School Near Holbrook Arizona
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Holbrook AZ might initially feel like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a college that will provide the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you tackle evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the proper selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their homes. After they have identified some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when evaluating vet technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech programs you are looking at before you make a final choice. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the varied roles of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main determiner will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous functions that they can perform within the Holbrook AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, 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. Usually they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared with assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years. So 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 exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Holbrook AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Schools Offered
An option that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Holbrook AZ veterinarian clinic 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 commuting and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided 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 ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Tech Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Holbrook AZ area as well as across the USA, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to choose a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program 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 previously 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 an extensive screening process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Holbrook AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with online school rating websites and speaking 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 specific schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Holbrook AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Holbrook AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the program has an excellent reputation within the Holbrook AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not well 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 larger sized, you most likely will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Holbrook AZ schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already covered 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 Holbrook AZ home, you must make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located close by or within a larger 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 increased tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important that you ascertain if the vet colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Holbrook AZ. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Choose the Right Holbrook Vet Technologist College
Enrolling in the appropriate vet tech school is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering vet tech schools must make their selection based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included 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 ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Holbrook Arizona.