How to Find the Right Vet Tech Training near Bridgeport Connecticut
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary program near Bridgeport CT might at first seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to find and enroll in a college that will furnish the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the best choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their homes. After they have located some local schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final choice. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the various roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Function of a Veterinary Technician and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will need 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 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 direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Bridgeport CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional vet 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 most instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Bridgeport CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more involved activities, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and usually earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can 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 Bridgeport CT area research facilities also.
Online Vet Colleges
An option that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Bridgeport CT veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for example for commuting and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you select 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 self-reliant manner, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Training Programs
By now you probably have selected which veterinarian certificate or degree that you want to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the USA, you need to ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Bridgeport CT veterinary assistant and tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the veterinary technician or assistant program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Bridgeport CT vet practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Bridgeport CT vet clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local Bridgeport CT vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A lower rate might suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Bridgeport CT college has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bridgeport CT schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you have to make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Bridgeport CT school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, 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 community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the Connecticut veterinary colleges you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available near Bridgeport CT prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to sickness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Technician?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Right Vet Assistant Training Program near Bridgeport CT
Selecting the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech college is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Potential students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant colleges must make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Bridgeport CT.
A Little Bit About Bridgeport CT
Bridgeport is a seaport city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is the largest city in the state and is located in Fairfield County at the mouth of the Pequonnock River on Long Island Sound. Bridgeport had a population of 144,229 during the 2010 Census, making it also the 5th-most populous in New England. It is bordered by the towns of Trumbull to the north, Fairfield to the west, and Stratford to the east. The Greater Bridgeport area is the 48th-largest urban area in the United States. Located 60 miles from Manhattan and 40 miles from the Bronx, Bridgeport is also part of the New York metropolitan area.
Bridgeport was inhabited by the Paugussett Indian tribe at the time of its English colonization. The English farming community became a center of trade, shipbuilding, and whaling. The town incorporated to subsidize the Housatonic Railroad and rapidly industrialized following the rail line's connection to the New York and New Haven railroad. Manufacturing was the mainstay of the local economy until the 1970s.
The showman P.T. Barnum was a resident of the city and served as the town's mayor in the late 19th century. Barnum built four houses in Bridgeport, and housed his circus in town during winter. The first Subway restaurant opened in the North End section of the city in 1965. The Frisbie Pie Company was located here, and Bridgeport is credited as the birthplace of the Frisbee.
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