How to Select the Right Veterinary Technician School Near Litchfield Park Arizona
Fulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Litchfield Park AZ might initially feel like a challenging task. After all, you have to find and enroll in a program that will deliver the necessary training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach assessing and contrasting programs so that you can make the proper selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. After they have found some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important concerns when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician schools you are considering before you make an ultimate decision. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the different roles of vet techs and the training options offered.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary factor will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous duties that they can perform within the Litchfield Park AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties 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 vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training in contrast to assistants and generally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years. So the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Litchfield Park AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Schools Offered
An option 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 training program. Because the classes are provided over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using multiple methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually 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, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting and study materials, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Litchfield Park AZ area as well as across the USA, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive screening process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for many Litchfield Park AZ area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with internet 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 concerning your specific schools. As a final suggestion, call some Litchfield Park AZ vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might 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 professional setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs set up with Litchfield Park AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most 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 practical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate could suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the program has an excellent reputation within the Litchfield Park AZ veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Litchfield Park AZ programs you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Litchfield Park AZ home, you have to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the school 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 charges particularly for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, 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 might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Litchfield Park Vet Technologist Program
Picking the right vet tech program is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students thinking about veterinary technician colleges need to make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Litchfield Park Arizona.