How to Pick a Vet Assistant School near Canton Connecticut
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near Canton CT may at first seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you must locate and enroll in a program that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach reviewing and comparing colleges so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their residences. Once they have found some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate choice. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the various roles of vet assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Function of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can perform within the Canton CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Canton CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Canton CT area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Schools
An option that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using multiple methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Canton CT veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, such as for travel and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure 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 clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Colleges
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian certificate or degree that you would like 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, trade and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the United States, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Canton CT veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the vet assistant or technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding review process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a requirement for employment for many Canton CT vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers 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 concerning your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Canton CT veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local Canton CT veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate might suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the Canton CT college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Canton CT programs you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you have to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Canton CT college is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s important that you ascertain if the Connecticut veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available near Canton CT prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask veterinary candidates is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a vet assistant, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Veterinary Tech Degree Program near Canton CT
Choosing the appropriate vet technician college is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about vet tech or assistant programs must make their determination based on several key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Canton CT.
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