How to Find the Right Veterinary Technician Training near Auburn Alabama
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Auburn AL may initially seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you need to find and enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and comparing schools so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their homes. When they have found some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate choice. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the different roles of vet techs and assistants and the training options offered.
The Function of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Auburn AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Auburn AL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. So 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 work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Auburn AL area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Programs
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Auburn AL veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Schools
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Alabama and across the Country, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Auburn AL vet assistant and technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s essential that you verify that the veterinary technician or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, 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 screening process that confirms you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Auburn AL vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Auburn AL veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local Auburn AL vet community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate may mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Auburn AL program has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Auburn AL schools you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students relating to 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? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you need to make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Auburn AL campus is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you determine if the Alabama veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available near Auburn AL before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family issues. You might discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a veterinary technician, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Best Vet Assistant Degree Program near Auburn AL
Enrolling in the appropriate vet technician college is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students considering vet tech or assistant schools must make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding 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 options so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Auburn AL.
A Little Bit About Auburn AL
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2016 population of 63,118. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 158,991, along with the Columbus, GA-AL MSA and Tuskegee, Alabama, comprises the greater Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL CSA, a region home to 501,649 residents.
Auburn is a historic college town and is the home of Auburn University. It is Alabama's fastest-growing metropolitan area and the nineteenth fastest-growing metro area in the United States since 1990. U.S. News ranked Auburn among its top ten list of best places to live in the United States for the year 2009. The city's unofficial nickname is “The Loveliest Village On The Plains,” taken from a line in the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain...”
Inhabited in antiquity by the Creek, the land on which Auburn sits was opened to settlement in 1832 with the Treaty of Cusseta. The first settlers arrived in the winter of 1836 from Harris County, Georgia. These settlers, led by Judge John J. Harper, intended to build a town that would be the religious and educational center for the area.
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