How to Choose the Best Vet Technician Training Near Laveen Arizona
Fulfilling your lifelong dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near Laveen AZ could initially feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their residences. Once they have located some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech programs you are considering before you make a final selection. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll discuss the various duties of vet techs and the training options available.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous functions that they can carry out within the Laveen AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish 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 job functions and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most cases 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 community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated functions, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Laveen AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Veterinary Technician Online Programs Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Laveen 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 expenses, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online vet tech program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you probably have determined which veterinary degree that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Laveen AZ area and across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, among 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 screening process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Laveen AZ area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final tip, phone some Laveen AZ veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs established with Laveen AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local vet community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate might signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the school has an excellent reputation within the Laveen AZ vet 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 assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Laveen AZ colleges you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Laveen 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 campus is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's important that you ascertain if the veterinarian colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Laveen AZ. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Laveen Veterinary Technologist College
Selecting the right vet tech school is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech schools need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Laveen Arizona.