How to Pick the Right Vet Technician Training Near Phoenix Arizona
Realizing your lifelong goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician program near Phoenix AZ may at first seem like a challenging task. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you go about reviewing and comparing schools so that you can make the correct choice? Many future students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their residences. When they have identified some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when evaluating vet technician schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll talk about the various roles of vet techs and the training alternatives available.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main factor 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 immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Phoenix AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared with assistants and typically obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated duties, for instance 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 veterinary techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years to complete. So the only real 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, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Phoenix AZ labs or research facilities as well.
Veterinary Technician Online Programs Offered
An approach that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Phoenix AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for traveling and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined 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 Schools
At this point you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you want to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Phoenix AZ area and across the Country, you should ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you verify that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Phoenix AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions 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 grievances or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, call some Phoenix AZ vet clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more colleges 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 clinical setting. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with Phoenix AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A low rate could mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were disappointed 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 might mean that the college has an excellent reputation within the Phoenix AZ veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Phoenix AZ programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Phoenix AZ home, you need to confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in 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. Of course attending online classes could 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 essential that you ascertain if the veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Phoenix AZ. Some might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Best Phoenix Vet Technologist College
Enrolling in the ideal vet tech program is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students looking into veterinary technician schools must make their determination based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative responsibilities and support 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 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 narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Phoenix Arizona.