How to Enroll In a Vet Tech Program near Colchester Connecticut
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet school near Colchester CT may at first feel like a daunting task. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the correct selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate selection. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the different roles of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the main factor will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many duties that they can perform within the Colchester CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Colchester CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years to complete. 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 job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Colchester CT area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Schools
An option that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Colchester CT veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for instance for traveling and study supplies, may be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make certain that the program that you select 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 self-reliant mode, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Colleges
At this point you should have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Connecticut as well as across the United States, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Colchester CT vet assistant and tech colleges that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet assistant or technician program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that ensures you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Colchester CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Colchester CT veterinarians that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help develop connections in the local Colchester CT veterinarian community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician program may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the Colchester CT program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Colchester CT colleges you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary tech classes from work or home, you have to confirm that the driving 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, especially if the Colchester CT school is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do choose to attend 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. Of course taking online classes might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important that you find out if the Connecticut vet colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working 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 later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available near Colchester CT prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family issues. You might find that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask veterinary candidates is "What compelled you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Right Veterinary Tech College near Colchester CT
Selecting the right vet technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant colleges must make their determination based on several key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Colchester CT.
A Little Bit About Colchester CT
Colchester is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 16,068 at the 2010 census. In 2010 Colchester became the first town in Connecticut, and the 36th in the country, to be certified with the National Wildlife Federation as a Community Wildlife Habitat.
Colchester is one of the fastest growing towns in Connecticut. The villages of Westchester and North Westchester are located within Colchester. The town center village, which was previously incorporated as a borough, is a census-designated place, with a population of 4,781 at the 2010 census.
The Colchester Historical Society operates a local history museum in town.
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