How to Select a Vet Assistant Training near Cordova Alaska
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet college near Cordova AK might at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a program that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting programs so that you can make the right choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. Once they have found some area colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various duties of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Function of a Veterinary Technician and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the main 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 guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Cordova AK veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Cordova AK. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more involved undertakings, for instance 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 examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training in contrast to assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years. So the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician 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 additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Cordova AK area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Degree Programs
An option that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available over the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Cordova AK veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for travel and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Alaska as well as across the United States, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Cordova AK vet technician and assistant colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary assistant or tech school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Cordova AK vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions concerning your specific schools. As a final tip, phone some Cordova AK veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with area veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local Cordova AK veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Cordova AK program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify 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, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Cordova AK programs you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet technician classes from work or home, you have to make certain that the commuting time fits into 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 Cordova AK school is located in or close by a large city. Also, 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 especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you find out if the Alaska vet programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near Cordova AK prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask veterinary candidates is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Veterinary Assistant Degree Program near Cordova AK
Enrolling in the appropriate vet assistant or tech program is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students thinking about vet assistant or tech programs must make their decision based on several key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Cordova AK.
A Little Bit About Cordova AK
Cordova /kɔːrˈdoʊvə, ˈkɔːrdəvə/) is a small town located near the mouth of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. The population was 2,239 at the 2010 census, down from 2,454 in 2000. Cordova was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. No roads connect Cordova to other Alaskan towns, so a plane or ferry is required to travel there. In the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989, an oil tanker ran aground northwest of Cordova, heavily damaging ecology and fishing.
In 1790 the inlet in front of the current Cordova townsite was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo, after Spanish admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova. The town of Cordova was named after it, although the inlet itself was later renamed the Orca Inlet. Cordova proper was founded as a result of the discovery of high-grade copper ore at Kennecott, north of Cordova. A group of surveyors from Valdez laid out a town site and Michael James Heney purchased half the land for the terminus of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway after determining that the neighboring town of Katalla was a poor harbor. Heney and his crew held a brief ceremony to organize the town on March 26, 1906. A week later crews arrived to begin work on the railroad. The first lots in the new town site, which make up the heart of present-day Cordova, were sold at auction in May 1908. As the railroad grew, so did the town. Eventually schools, businesses, a hospital, and utilities were established. After the railroad was completed Cordova became the transportation hub for the ore coming out of Kennecott. In the years 1911 to 1938, more than 200 million tons of copper ore was transported through Cordova.
The area around Cordova was historically home to the Eyak, with a population of Chugach to the west, and occasional visits from Ahtna and Tlingit people for trade or battle. The last full-blooded Eyak Marie Smith Jones died in 2008, but the native traditions and lifestyle still has an influence on the local culture. Cordova was also once the home of a booming razor clam industry, and between 1916 and the late 1950s it was known as the "Razor Clam Capital of the World". Commercial harvest in the area was as much as 3.5 million pounds. Returns began declining in the late 1950s, presumably due to overharvesting and a large die-off in 1958. The 1964 Good Friday earthquake effectively and completely obliterated the industry; in some areas, the ground was thrust up by as much as six feet, exposing the already depleted clam beds. There has been no commercial harvest in the area since 1988 with the exception of a brief harvest in 1993.
More Cities of Interest in Alaska