How to Choose the Best Veterinary Technician School Near Laveen Arizona
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Laveen AZ may initially feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you have to find and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing schools so that you can make the ideal choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their residences. When they have located some local colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important concerns when evaluating vet tech programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet tech schools you are looking at before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll explore the various responsibilities of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Laveen AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four 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 work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Laveen AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Schools Offered
An option that might make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Laveen AZ veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for commuting and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online vet tech school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college 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 must ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's important that you verify that the veterinary technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for many Laveen AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Laveen AZ veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with Laveen AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the program has an exceptional reputation within the Laveen AZ veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Laveen AZ programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Laveen AZ home, you have to make certain 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's important that you determine if the vet schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible 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 Laveen AZ. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure 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 work, illness or family emergencies. You may find that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Laveen Vet Technologist Program
Selecting the ideal veterinary technician program is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for animals. Students thinking about veterinary technician schools need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. 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 reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Laveen Arizona.