How to Select a Vet Tech School near Firestone Colorado
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near Firestone CO might at first feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a program that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about assessing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their homes. After they have identified some local colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final choice. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the various roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Role of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialization 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 although there are many functions that they can carry out within the Firestone CO veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Firestone 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 complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared with assistants and usually earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years to complete. So the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs 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 laboratories or Firestone CO area research facilities also.
Vet Online Colleges
An option that may 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. Because the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Firestone CO veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for travel and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Colorado as well as across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Firestone CO veterinary assistant and tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the vet assistant or tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that ensures you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Firestone CO veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Colorado school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some Firestone CO vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Firestone CO vet community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant school can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Firestone CO college has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Firestone CO colleges you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from home or work, you need to make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Firestone CO college is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s imperative that you find out if the Colorado vet schools you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work 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. Verify that the class times you require are available near Firestone CO before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your active life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Vet Tech?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What made you select veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a veterinary technician, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Best Veterinary Technologist College near Firestone CO
Enrolling in the right veterinary technician program is an important first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students thinking about vet tech or assistant programs need to make their decision based on a number of key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the ideal program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Firestone CO.
A Little Bit About Firestone CO
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Samuel Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles. The company was a pioneer in the mass production of tires. Harvey Firestone had a friendship with Henry Ford. Firestone used this relationship to become the original equipment supplier of Ford Motor Company automobiles, and was also active in the replacement market.
In 1988, the company was sold to the Japanese Bridgestone Corporation.
Firestone was originally based in Akron, Ohio, also the hometown of its archrival, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and another two mid-sized competitors, General Tire and Rubber and BF Goodrich. Founded on August 3, 1900, the company initiated operations with 12 employees. Together, Firestone and Goodyear were the largest suppliers of automotive tires in North America for over 75 years. In 1906 Henry Ford chose Firestone for Model T original equipment tires.
More Cities of Interest in Colorado