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How to Pick the Right Vet Tech Program Near Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix Arizona vet tech calming anxious dogRealizing your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Phoenix AZ might initially feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the ideal choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their homes. When they have identified some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant factors when comparing vet tech programs, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll go over the varied responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.

Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists

Phoenix Arizona vet tech examining kittens

One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you desire to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous functions that they can perform within the Phoenix AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or conduct 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 instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and usually earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years to complete. Therefore 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 career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.

Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many 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 Schools Offered

Phoenix Arizona dog with surgical coneAn option that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be carried out 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 some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, such as for traveling and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech program may be the perfect choice for you.

Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools

At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian degree that you wish to attain, and if you intend 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 USA, you should ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are considering.

Is the Veterinary College Accredited?  It's important that you verify that the vet tech college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive review process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a prerequisite for employment for many Phoenix AZ area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the Program's Reputation?  The vet vocational school or college and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Phoenix AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some colleges not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The most effective means to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with Phoenix 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 invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Provided?  Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech college can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Phoenix AZ veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are bigger, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Phoenix AZ schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Of course, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Phoenix AZ home, you have to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do choose 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, taking online classes might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, 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 example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Phoenix AZ. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.

Learn More About Phoenix Vet Technologist Programs

Enroll in the Right Phoenix Vet Technologist Program

Picking the appropriate veterinary technician college is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students looking into veterinary technician programs need to make their selection 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 as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Phoenix Arizona.


 

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