How to Choose a Vet Tech College near Bethlehem Connecticut
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet program near Bethlehem CT may at first seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about analyzing and contrasting programs so that you can make the proper choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their homes. When they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the various duties of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Job of a Vet Assistant and Tech
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Bethlehem CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Bethlehem CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved activities, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and normally obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years to complete. So the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Bethlehem CT area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Programs
An option that may be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Bethlehem CT veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, such as for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make certain that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. 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 vet tech or assistant school may be the right option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Schools
At this point you should have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Connecticut as well as across the USA, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the Bethlehem CT veterinary assistant and tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the vet technician or assistant school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, 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 rigorous screening process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Bethlehem CT veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Bethlehem CT veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to get practical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs arranged with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Bethlehem CT veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A low rate might signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the Bethlehem CT program has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bethlehem CT colleges you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you have to make sure 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, particularly if the Bethlehem CT college is located in or close by a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online 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 essential that you find out if the Connecticut veterinary schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered near Bethlehem CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family issues. You may discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask veterinary prospects is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Veterinary Tech Program near Bethlehem CT
Choosing the right veterinary technician program is a critical first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students considering veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing 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 achieve your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Bethlehem CT.
A Little Bit About Bethlehem CT
Bethlehem is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 3,422 at the 2000 census. The town center was designated in the 2000 census as a census-designated place (CDP).
The town's name has prompted thousands of visitors each December to mail their Christmas cards at the local post office in order to get a "Bethlehem" postmark. The post office also has nearly 100 Christmas-related stamps for customers to decorate their envelopes during the holiday season.
Bethlehem is one of the two towns in Litchfield County served by the area code 203/area code 475 overlay. The other is the Town of Woodbury.
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