How to Enroll In the Right Vet Technician Training Near Laveen Arizona
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Laveen AZ might initially seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you must locate and enroll in a school that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you go about assessing and comparing schools so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. When they have located some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when assessing veterinary technician programs, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the different responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can perform within the Laveen AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, 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 techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and normally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complex duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Laveen AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An approach that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Laveen AZ veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for travel and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary technician program may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
By now you should have determined which veterinarian degree that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Laveen AZ area as well as across the USA, you should ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm 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 review process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Laveen AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet 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 complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Laveen AZ vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest 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 medical environment. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with Laveen AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local vet community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the college has an excellent reputation within the Laveen AZ veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate 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 in size, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Laveen AZ colleges you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Laveen AZ home, you need to make sure that the commuting 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, especially if the college is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college 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 online classes might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's important that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Laveen AZ. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online college is the best way to fit your vet training into your active life.
Choose the Best Laveen Vet Technologist College
Picking the appropriate veterinary technician college is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Students looking into vet tech colleges need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. 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 animals when needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Laveen Arizona.