How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant Training near Denver Colorado
Realizing your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Denver CO may at first seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the ideal selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. Once they have located some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the various responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of tasks that they can carry out within the Denver CO veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Denver CO. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared with assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years to complete. 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 work opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Denver CO area research facilities as well.
Veterinarian Online Courses
An alternative that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Denver CO veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, for instance for travel and study supplies, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school 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 included for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Degree Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you want to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Colorado as well as across the United States, you should ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Denver CO vet assistant and technician programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 undergone a rigorous screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Denver CO veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with internet school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Colorado school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Denver CO vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to get practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local Denver CO vet community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant program may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the Denver CO program has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Denver CO schools you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you have to make certain that the driving time fits into 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 Denver CO college is located close by or within a larger 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 particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the Colorado veterinarian schools you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work 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 need are offered near Denver CO prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a vet assistant, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Veterinary Tech Degree Program near Denver CO
Picking the appropriate vet technician college is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students thinking about vet assistant or tech colleges must make their determination based on multiple key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Denver CO.
A Little Bit About Denver CO
Denver (/ˈdɛnvər/), officially the City and County of Denver, is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12 mi (19 km) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5280 feet or 1609.3 meters) above sea level, making it the highest major city in the United States. The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station.
Denver is ranked as a Beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. With an estimated population of 693,060 in 2016, Denver is the 19th-most populous U.S. city, and with a 15.48% increase since the 2010 United States Census, it has been one of the fastest-growing major cities in the United States. The 10-county Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated 2016 population of 2,853,077 and is the 19th most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical area. The 12-city Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area had an estimated 2016 population of 3,470,235 and is the 16th most populous U.S. metropolitan area. Denver is the most populous city of the 18-county Front Range Urban Corridor, an oblong urban region stretching across two states with an estimated 2016 population of 4,833,260. Denver is the most populous city within a 500-mile (800 km) radius and the second-most populous city in the Mountain West after Phoenix, Arizona. In 2016, Denver was named the best place to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
In the summer of 1858, during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, a group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas established Montana City as a mining town on the banks of the South Platte River in what was then western Kansas Territory. This was the first historical settlement in what was later to become the city of Denver. The site faded quickly, however, and by the summer of 1859 it was abandoned in favor of Auraria (named after the gold-mining town of Auraria, Georgia) and St. Charles City.
More Cities of Interest in Colorado