How to Enroll In the Right Veterinary Technician Program Near Holbrook Arizona
Realizing your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech college near Holbrook AZ may initially seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must locate and enroll in a school that will furnish the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you go about analyzing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. Once they have located some local colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet tech schools you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the different responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many duties that they can carry out within the Holbrook AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and training requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and typically obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general 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 activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years to complete. 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 career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Holbrook AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Holbrook AZ veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for example for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. 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 self-reliant mode, an online vet tech program may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you should have selected which veterinarian degree that you would like to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Holbrook AZ area and across the Country, you should ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Holbrook AZ area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations 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 pointer, phone some Holbrook AZ vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Holbrook AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied 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 higher placement rate may indicate that the school has an excellent reputation within the Holbrook AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Holbrook AZ programs you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Holbrook AZ home, you must make sure that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you ascertain if the veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Holbrook AZ. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Holbrook Veterinary Technologist College
Picking the ideal vet tech college is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Future students considering veterinary technician colleges need to make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Holbrook Arizona.