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How to Choose the Right Vet Technician School Near Page Arizona

Page Arizona veterinary tech holding anxious dogAchieving your long term aspiration of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet tech program near Page AZ may initially feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their residences. After they have found some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when evaluating vet technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician schools you are considering before you make a final choice. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the different roles of vet techs and the training options offered.

Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists

Page Arizona veterinary tech examining kittens

One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Page AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a formal 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 technicians in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex undertakings, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared to assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated functions, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.

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

Vet Tech Online Programs Offered

Page 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 veterinarian school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Page AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for example for commuting and study supplies, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. 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 school may be the perfect option for you.

Things to Ask Vet Tech Programs

By now you should have decided on which veterinarian degree that you wish to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Page AZ area as well as across the United States, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.

Is the Veterinary Program Accredited?  It's imperative that you confirm that the veterinary technician program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously 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 confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Page AZ area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The veterinary trade school or college and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Page AZ vet clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs arranged with Page AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Placement Offered?  Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate could indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the program has an excellent reputation within the Page AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger in size, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Page AZ colleges you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from your Page AZ home, you have to make certain that the driving 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 school is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it's important that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Page AZ. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family issues. You might find that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.

Learn More About Page Veterinary Technician Schools Online

Choose the Right Page Veterinary Technologist School

Picking the appropriate vet tech program is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Future students considering veterinary technician programs need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Page Arizona.


 

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