How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant College near Calhoun Georgia
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Calhoun GA may initially seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their residences. After they have identified some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the varied responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal determiner will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous jobs that they can carry out within the Calhoun GA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed 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 near Calhoun GA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually earn 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 fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Calhoun GA area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian Training Programs
An approach that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are provided via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Calhoun GA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for commuting and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Georgia and across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to choose a program 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 Calhoun GA veterinary assistant and technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the veterinary assistant or tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 undergone a demanding screening process that confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for a number of Calhoun GA veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. 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 pointers include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Georgia school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Calhoun GA veterinarians that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Calhoun GA vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A low rate might suggest 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 colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the Calhoun GA program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could 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 may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Calhoun GA colleges you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to 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 College Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from home or work, you have to make certain that the driving time fits into 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, especially if the Calhoun GA campus is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you determine if the Georgia veterinarian programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available near Calhoun GA prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask veterinary prospects is "What made you pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Vet Technician Training Program near Calhoun GA
Choosing the appropriate vet assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students thinking about vet assistant or tech schools need to make their decision based on several key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to 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 options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the ideal school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet technician, assistant or technologist in Calhoun GA.
A Little Bit About Calhoun GA
Calhoun was a part of the Cherokee Nation (including New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation) until December 29, 1835. Cherokee leaders such as The Ridge and William Hicks had developed numerous productive farms in the fertile Oothcaloga Valley. When the Cherokee refused to give up the remainder of their lands under the Indian Removal Act, after years of land cessions to the United States for white settlers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, President Andrew Jackson sent US troops to the northern region of Georgia to force most of the tribe to move to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River, most notably present-day Oklahoma. (See more information on Trail of Tears.)
In December 1827, Georgia had already claimed the Cherokee lands that became Gordon County and other counties. A small town called "Dawsonville" was created and founded in the Gordon County, named for the owner of an early general store. Dawsonville was later renamed "Calhoun" to honor U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun, following his death in 1850.
Gordon County's inferior court called an election for the selection of the county seat, offering voters a choice between a site on the Western & Atlantic Railroad (near Adairsville) or a site more centrally located within the county. Voters chose a site along the railroad, so the inferior court designated Calhoun as county seat in 1851. The legislature incorporated Calhoun in an act approved on January 12, 1852.
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