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How to Select the Right Veterinary Technician Program Near Marana Arizona

Marana Arizona vet tech holding anxious dogRealizing your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Marana AZ could at first feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. When they have found some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when comparing vet technician programs, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate selection. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll discuss the different duties of vet techs and the training alternatives available.

Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists

Marana Arizona veterinary tech checking kittens

Among the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be dependent 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 appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many tasks that they can perform within the Marana AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.

Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Marana AZ labs or research facilities also.

Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered

Marana Arizona dog with surgical coneAn option that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Marana AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, such as for commuting and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes 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 veterinary technician program may be the ideal option for you.

Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs

At this point you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Marana AZ area as well as across the United States, you need to ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are considering.

Is the Veterinary Program Accredited?  It's important that you confirm that the vet tech program you enroll in 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). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through 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 a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for many Marana AZ area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the College's Reputation?  The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final pointer, call some Marana AZ veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The most effective way to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with Marana AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.

Is there a Job Placement Program?  Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate might mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Marana AZ veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify 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, you may get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Marana AZ programs you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Marana 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 school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to attend 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. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it's imperative that you determine if the veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Marana AZ. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online college is the best solution to fit your vet education into your busy life.

Learn More About Marana Vet Tech Programs

Choose the Right Marana Veterinary Technologist College

Selecting the ideal vet tech school is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering veterinary technician schools need to make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it's imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Marana Arizona.


 

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