How to Enroll In the Right Vet Tech School Near Litchfield Park Arizona
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Litchfield Park AZ may initially feel like an overwhelming task. After all, you have to find and enroll in a program that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you tackle reviewing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper selection? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their residences. Once they have found some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when comparing vet tech programs, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll talk about the various 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 want to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many functions that they can perform within the Litchfield Park AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern 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 techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training in contrast to assistants and generally earn a two 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 fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years to complete. Therefore 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 job options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Litchfield Park AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Technician Programs Offered
An approach that might make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Litchfield Park AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for example for commuting and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online veterinary technician school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Litchfield Park AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the veterinary technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for many Litchfield Park AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Litchfield Park AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs arranged with Litchfield Park AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate could signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Litchfield Park AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Litchfield Park AZ programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Litchfield Park AZ home, you have to make sure 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 college is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinarian colleges you are exploring 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 Litchfield Park AZ. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Litchfield Park Vet Technologist College
Enrolling in the ideal veterinary technician college is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students thinking about veterinary technician schools need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Litchfield Park Arizona.