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How to Pick the Best Veterinary Technician Program Near New River Arizona

New River Arizona veterinary technician holding anxious dogAchieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech program near New River AZ may initially seem like a daunting task. After all, you have to find and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you tackle analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the ideal choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. After they have identified some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech programs, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician programs you are evaluating 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 discuss the different duties of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.

Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists

New River Arizona vet technician checking kittens

Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many duties that they can perform within the New River AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.

  • Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared to assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian 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 involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years. 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 job opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.

Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  New River AZ labs or research facilities as well.

Online Veterinary Technician Schools Offered

New River Arizona dog wearing surgical coneAn alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local New River AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online vet tech school may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Vet Tech Colleges

By now you probably have determined which veterinary degree that you want to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the New River AZ area as well as across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary School Accredited?  It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, 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 thorough screening process that ensures you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for a number of New River AZ area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the School's Reputation?  The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in 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 authority if there have been any complaints or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final pointer, contact some New River AZ vet clinics that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best means to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the colleges you are considering have internship programs established with New River AZ veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local vet community and help in the search for a position after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Provided?  Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the school has an outstanding reputation within the New River AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the New River AZ programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your New River AZ home, you have to confirm that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the campus is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it's imperative that you ascertain if the veterinary colleges you are looking at 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 at night near New River AZ. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.

Learn More About New River Vet Tech Schools

Choose the Right New River Veterinary Technologist Program

Picking the ideal vet tech program is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students thinking about veterinary technician programs must make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you select 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 included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in New River Arizona.


 

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