How to Select a Veterinary Technician School near Wickenburg Arizona
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary program near Wickenburg AZ could initially feel like a challenging task. After all, you must find and enroll in a school that will provide the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the proper selection? Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. When they have located some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the different roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Job of a Vet Tech and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many functions that they can perform within the Wickenburg AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters 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 undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Wickenburg AZ. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few 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 receive more advanced training compared with 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 veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more involved activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher 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 licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Wickenburg AZ area research facilities also.
Vet Online Training Programs
An option that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided over the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Wickenburg AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for traveling and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you want to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Arizona and across the USA, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune 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 essential qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Wickenburg AZ veterinary assistant and technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the vet assistant or tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough screening process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for many Wickenburg AZ veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Wickenburg AZ veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local Wickenburg AZ vet community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A lower rate could indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed 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 higher placement rate may indicate that the Wickenburg AZ school has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian 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 assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Wickenburg AZ programs you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you must make sure that the commuting time is compatible with 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, especially if the Wickenburg AZ school is located in or close by a larger 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 fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you find out if the Arizona vet colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered near Wickenburg AZ before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to sickness, work or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the best way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Tech?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What made you choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Veterinary Technician College near Wickenburg AZ
Picking the right vet technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students considering vet tech or assistant programs need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and support 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 profession. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the best college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Wickenburg AZ.
A Little Bit About Wickenburg AZ
Wickenburg is a town primarily located in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with a portion in neighboring Yavapai County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 6,363.
The Wickenburg area with much of the Southwest became part of the United States by the 1848 treaty that ended the Mexican-American War. The first extensive survey was conducted by Gila Rangers who were pursuing hostile Indians who had raided the Butterfield Overland Mail route and attacked miners at Gila City.
In 1862, a gold strike on the Colorado River near present-day Yuma brought American prospectors, who searched for minerals throughout central Arizona. Many of the geographic landmarks now bear the names of these pioneers, including the Weaver Mountains, named after mountain man Pauline Weaver, and Peeples Valley, named after a settler.
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