How to Select the Right Vet Tech Training Program Near Litchfield Park Arizona
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Litchfield Park AZ may at first feel like a daunting task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you go about reviewing and comparing programs so that you can make the proper selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. When they have found some local schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when comparing vet tech programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary technician programs you are looking at before you make a final selection. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the varied roles of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Litchfield Park AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone 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 vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive 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 sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians 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 administering medication. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires 4 years to complete. Therefore 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, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Litchfield Park AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An approach that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Litchfield Park AZ veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for example for traveling and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary technician program may be the right option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
By now you probably have determined which veterinary degree that you would like to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Litchfield Park AZ area and across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. 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 demanding screening process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Litchfield Park AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Litchfield Park AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs set up with Litchfield Park AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local vet community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy 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 could indicate that the college has an excellent reputation within the Litchfield Park AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Litchfield Park AZ programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Litchfield Park AZ home, you must confirm 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located near or in a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Litchfield Park AZ. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family responsibilities. You may find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Enroll in the Best Litchfield Park Veterinary Technologist School
Enrolling in the right veterinary technician program is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career providing treatment and care for animals. Students looking into veterinary technician programs need to make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Litchfield Park Arizona.