How to Pick a Veterinary Technician Program near Phoenix Arizona
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary program near Phoenix AZ may initially feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the ideal selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their residences. When they have identified some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the various responsibilities of vet techs and assistants and the training options offered.
The Role of a Vet Technician and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Phoenix AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a formal 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 near Phoenix AZ. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared with assistants and generally acquire 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 basic 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 duties, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and basically perform the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. 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 job opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam 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 receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Phoenix AZ area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinarian Schools
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available over the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Phoenix AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for traveling and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical 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 technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Schools
At this point you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you want to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Arizona as well as across the USA, you need to ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to select 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 should ask the Phoenix AZ veterinary technician and assistant schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the vet assistant or technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that verifies 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 degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Phoenix AZ vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with internet school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Phoenix AZ vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to get practical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Phoenix AZ vet community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate may suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were unhappy 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 may indicate that the Phoenix AZ program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean 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 bigger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Phoenix AZ colleges you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary tech classes from home or work, 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 drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Phoenix AZ college is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s important that you find out if the Arizona veterinarian colleges you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered near Phoenix AZ before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of sickness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Right Veterinary Assistant School near Phoenix AZ
Picking the appropriate veterinary technician college is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary assistant or tech colleges need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Phoenix AZ.
A Little Bit About Phoenix AZ
Phoenix (/ˈfiːnɪks/) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arizona. With 1,615,017 people (as of 2016[update]), Phoenix is the fifth most populous city nationwide, the most populous state capital in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.
Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is a part of the Salt River Valley. The metropolitan area is the 12th largest by population in the United States, with approximately 4.3 million people as of 2010[update]. In addition, Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County and, at 517.9 square miles (1,341 km2), it is the largest city in the state, more than twice the size of Tucson and one of the largest cities in the United States.
Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community, many of the original crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus, and hay (which was important for the cattle industry). In fact, the "Five C's" (Cotton, Cattle, Citrus, Climate, and Copper), remained the driving forces of Phoenix's economy until after World War II, when high-tech industries began to move into the valley and air conditioning made residences much more comfortable in the very hot summers.
More Cities of Interest in Arizona