How to Choose a Vet Tech School near Canaan Connecticut
Realizing your long term aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary program near Canaan CT might at first feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their residences. Once they have located some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate choice. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the varied duties of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options offered.
The Function of a Vet Tech and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Canaan CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Canaan CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years. Therefore 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 job opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet 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 Canaan CT area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Degree Programs
An option that might be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle 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 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 most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Canaan CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for travel and study supplies, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the United States, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Canaan CT veterinary assistant and technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s essential that you verify that the veterinary tech or assistant college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, 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 demanding screening process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Canaan CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers 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 complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Canaan CT veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local Canaan CT vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Getting a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the Canaan CT program has an exceptional reputation within the vet 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 ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Canaan CT programs you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from home or work, you need to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with 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 Canaan CT college is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important that you find out if the Connecticut veterinary programs you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered near Canaan CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You may discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Veterinary Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Vet Assistant Training Program near Canaan CT
Choosing the ideal vet assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students looking into veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the best program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Canaan CT.
A Little Bit About Canaan CT
New Canaan, Connecticut
New Canaan /nuː ˈkeɪnən/ is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Greenwich, 36 miles (58 km) west of New Haven and 48 miles (77 km) northeast of New York City. The population was 19,738 according to the 2010 census. In 2008 New Canaan had the highest median family income in the country.
Considered part of Connecticut's Gold Coast, New Canaan is known for its excellent Connecticut public school system, its wide range of architecture from the Harvard Five modern homes to historic New England colonials and farms, as well as many stately mansions and tended estates, plus a signature town center with premiere shopping, classic boutiques, an elaborate display of lights for the Holidays.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.5 square miles (58 km2), of which 22.1 square miles (57 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 1.56%, is water. New Canaan is the only municipality on the Connecticut Panhandle that does not border the coast. Such proximity to New York City proved worthy of its own connection to the New Haven Railroad, being the only town to do so. New Canaan station and Talmadge Hill station are both on the New Canaan Branch of the New Haven Line, and transfer is possible in Stamford south to Manhattan. Many New Canaan residents commute to New York regularly, with travel time to Grand Central Terminal approximately 70 minutes. New Canaan is also heavily served by the historic Merritt Parkway, as the third municipality when driving to Connecticut from New York City.
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