How to Choose a Veterinary Technician Training Program near Juneau 99801
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near Juneau AK may at first feel like a daunting endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a program that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the proper selection? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their homes. Once they have found some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary colleges you are reviewing before you make a final choice. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the different responsibilities of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Vet Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might 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 specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Juneau veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. 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 example for Alaska zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the Juneau vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist Juneau vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are included in more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options in the Juneau area, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Juneau area labs or research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Training Programs
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Juneau veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, such as for commuting and study materials, can be more affordable for online vet assistant programs compared to more standard classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Juneau area and across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician and assistant schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 review process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Juneau area veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final tip, call some Juneau veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Juneau area veterinarian community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Searching for a job in the Juneau area after graduating from a vet technician or assistant school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. 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 excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet technician classes from work or home, you have to confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or close by a large 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 particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online in your Juneau home might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the veterinarian colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Juneau. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Choose the Ideal Veterinary Technologist Training Program near Juneau AKEnrolling in the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech program is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Students thinking about veterinary assistant or tech programs must make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech colleges 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 decision. And by picking the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist.