How to Select a Vet Assistant Program near Brookfield Connecticut
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary school near Brookfield CT may at first seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a college that will provide the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle assessing and comparing colleges so that you can make the correct selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. After they have located some area schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered as well. 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 decision. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the different duties of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Tech and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many duties that they can carry out within the Brookfield CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone 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 community college or trade school near Brookfield CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and normally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Brookfield CT area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Programs
An approach that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Brookfield CT veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for traveling and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom programs. Just be sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you should have determined which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Brookfield CT veterinary assistant and tech colleges that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the veterinary assistant or tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, 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 thorough screening process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Brookfield CT veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Brookfield CT veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local Brookfield CT vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate might signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the Brookfield CT college has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not highly 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 sized, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Brookfield CT colleges you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students concerning 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 College Located? Okay, we already discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary tech classes from work or home, you need to make certain that the driving 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, especially if the Brookfield CT college is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking 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 essential that you ascertain if the Connecticut veterinarian schools you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate 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 might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered near Brookfield CT prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of sickness, work or family issues. You might discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Veterinary Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a vet assistant, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Vet Tech School near Brookfield CT
Picking the right veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students thinking about vet tech or assistant schools need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Brookfield CT.
A Little Bit About Brookfield CT
Brookfield is a town located in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States in the southern foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. The population was 16,487 at the 2010 census. Brookfield was first settled in 1710 by John Muirwood, as well as other colonial founders including Hawley, Peck and Merwin. They bartered for the land from the Wyantenuck Nation and the Pootatuck nation who were ruled under the Sachem Waramaug and Pocono. The purchase of the south part of town involved the current municipal center where sachem Pocono then had his village and lived in an enormous palisade along the Still River. Eventually, when the town was settled, it was first established as the Parish of Newbury, which incorporated parts of neighboring Newtown and Danbury. The town of Brookfield was established in 1788. It was named after the first minister of the parish's Congregational church, Reverend Thomas Brooks.
Early people who lived in Brookfield were subsistence farmers, gatherers and hunters. The main food sources were corn, beans, squash and wild foods found in the rocky, heavily forested foot hills of the Berkshire Mountains of Brookfield and New Milford. Such wild foods that were harvested were white oak acorns, American chestnuts, shag bark hickory nuts, may apples, beach nuts and Solomon's seal. The hunted animals that were taken from the forest and rivers were deer, passenger pigeon, turkey, bass, trout, crawfish, squirrel, rabbit and others. In the 18th century the community was called "Newbury", a name that came from the three towns from which its land was taken – New Milford, Newtown, and Danbury.
As traveling to surrounding churches was difficult in winter, in 1752 the General Assembly granted the community the right to worship in area homes from September through March. In 1754, the General Assembly granted permission for the Parish of Newbury to build its own meeting house and recruit its own minister. On September 28, 1757, the first Congregational Church building was dedicated. The Reverend Thomas Brooks was ordained as the first settled minister. Incorporated in 1778, the town's name was changed to Brookfield in honor of Brooks, who was still the minister.
More Cities of Interest in Connecticut