How to Select the Best Vet Technician College Near Litchfield Park Arizona
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech program near Litchfield Park AZ may initially seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will furnish the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have identified some local schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant concerns when assessing vet tech programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician schools you are considering before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the varied roles of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Litchfield Park AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade 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 complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Litchfield Park AZ labs or research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Technician Programs Offered
An approach that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian 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 educational program is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Litchfield Park AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for example for traveling and study materials, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech program may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinary degree that you want to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Litchfield Park AZ area as well as across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It's important that you confirm that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary 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 degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Litchfield Park AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school 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 looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on 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 grievances or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final tip, phone some Litchfield Park AZ veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs arranged with Litchfield Park AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local vet community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate could signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were unhappy 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 might mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Litchfield Park AZ veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may 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 sized, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Litchfield Park AZ schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students regarding 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 College Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Litchfield Park AZ home, you have to confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the school is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an alternative 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 determine if the vet colleges you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible 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 in the evenings near Litchfield Park AZ. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Choose the Right Litchfield Park Veterinary Technologist School
Picking the right vet tech school is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Students thinking about vet tech schools need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges 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 decision. And by selecting the ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Litchfield Park Arizona.