How to Choose a Vet Assistant College near Aspen Colorado
Realizing your long term aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet program near Aspen CO may at first feel like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must find and enroll in a school that will furnish the proper training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the proper selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have found some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the varied roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Function of a Veterinary Technician and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary determiner will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many jobs that they can perform within the Aspen CO veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Aspen CO. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved activities, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Aspen CO area research facilities as well.
Veterinarian Online Schools
An alternative that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Aspen CO veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online veterinary technician or assistant school may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Training Programs
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Colorado as well as across the Country, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Aspen CO veterinary technician and assistant colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the vet technician or assistant school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough review process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Aspen CO veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Colorado school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final pointer, phone some Aspen CO veterinarians that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to get practical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local Aspen CO veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate could mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the Aspen CO school has an excellent reputation within the vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Aspen CO schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations 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 School Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary tech classes from work or home, you must make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Aspen CO college is located near or in a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important that you find out if the Colorado veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered near Aspen CO prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, sickness or family issues. You may find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Vet Tech?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask veterinary candidates is "What compelled you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Best Vet Tech Program near Aspen CO
Choosing the ideal veterinary assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students considering veterinary assistant or tech programs need to make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the right college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Aspen CO.
A Little Bit About Aspen CO
Aspen is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. Its population was 6,658 at the 2010 United States Census. Aspen is in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains' Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains, along the Roaring Fork River at an elevation just below 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level on the Western Slope, 11 miles (18 km) west of the Continental Divide.
Founded as a mining camp during the Colorado Silver Boom and later named "Aspen" because of the abundance of aspen trees in the area, the city boomed during the 1880s, its first decade of existence. The boom ended when the Panic of 1893 led to a collapse in the silver market, and the city began a half-century known as "the quiet years" during which its population steadily declined, reaching a nadir of fewer than a thousand by 1930. Aspen's fortunes reversed in the mid-20th century when neighboring Aspen Mountain was developed into a ski resort, and industrialist Walter Paepcke bought many properties in the city and redeveloped them. Today it is home to three institutions, two of which Paepcke helped found, that have international importance: the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Aspen Institute, and the Aspen Center for Physics.
In the late-20th century, the city became a popular retreat for celebrities. Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson worked out of a downtown hotel and ran unsuccessfully for county sheriff. Singer John Denver wrote two songs about Aspen after settling there. Both of them popularized Aspen among the counter-cultural youth of the 1970s as an ideal place to live, and the city continued to grow even as it gained notoriety for some of the era's hedonistic excesses (particularly its drug culture).
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