How to Pick the Right Veterinary Technician Program Near Phoenix Arizona
Fulfilling your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Phoenix AZ might at first feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle analyzing and comparing colleges so that you can make the proper choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their residences. Once they have located some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important factors when evaluating veterinary technician schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are reviewing before you make a final choice. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we'll explore the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.
Vet Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main factor will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Phoenix AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Phoenix AZ laboratories or research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Technician Schools Offered
An approach that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. 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 practical training, that portion can typically be completed 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 ancillary costs, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech program may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you wish to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Phoenix AZ area as well as across the Country, you should ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to choose a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's imperative that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough screening process that ensures you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for a number of Phoenix AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with 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 specific schools. As a final pointer, phone some Phoenix AZ veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with Phoenix AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate could signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Phoenix AZ vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Phoenix AZ colleges you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Phoenix 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 close by or within 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 increased tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's important that you ascertain if the veterinarian colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Phoenix AZ. Some may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet education into your active life.
Enroll in the Right Phoenix Veterinary Technologist Program
Choosing the ideal vet tech program is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students considering vet tech colleges need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included 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 reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Phoenix Arizona.