How to Select the Best Vet Tech Training Program Near Phoenix Arizona
Fulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Phoenix AZ could initially seem like a challenging task. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you approach reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. After they have located some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant considerations when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet tech schools you are evaluating before you make a final choice. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll explore the varied roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the principal determiner will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many functions that they can perform within the Phoenix AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared with assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general 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 complicated duties, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 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 work opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Phoenix AZ labs or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Programs Offered
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using multiple methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Phoenix AZ veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for example for travel and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician school may be the ideal choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Phoenix AZ area and across the United States, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding screening process that ensures you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a precondition for employment for many Phoenix AZ area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Phoenix AZ veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Phoenix AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local veterinarian community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate could mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Phoenix AZ veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Phoenix AZ colleges you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Phoenix AZ home, you need to make certain that the commuting time is compatible with 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 near or in a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important that you determine if the veterinary schools you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Phoenix AZ. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or later 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 may miss as a result of work, illness or family issues. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Phoenix Veterinary Technologist School
Picking the ideal vet tech college is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students looking into veterinary technician colleges need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Phoenix Arizona.