Vet Tech Schools near Columbia CT 06237

How to Choose a Vet Assistant School near Columbia Connecticut

Columbia CT vet tech holding dog during examRealizing your long term dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet program near Columbia CT may initially seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the ideal choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their residences. After they have located some local colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make a final decision. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the varied duties of vet techs and assistants and the training options available.

The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician

Columbia CT vet assistant taking vital signs of puppyOne of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can perform within the Columbia CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through 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 Columbia 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 complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
  • Vet Technicians receive more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically earn a 2 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 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 providing medicine. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.

Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Columbia CT area research facilities as well.

Online Vet Colleges

attending vet tech school online in Columbia CTAn approach that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Columbia CT veterinarian 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 commuting and study supplies, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Degree Programs

cat wearing cone after vet surgery in Columbia CTAt this point you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut and across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Columbia CT veterinary technician and assistant programs that you are looking at.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary technician or assistant program you select 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 gone through a rigorous review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for many Columbia CT vet clinics and hospitals.

What is the College’s Reputation?  The veterinary trade school or college and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Columbia CT veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some schools not on your list.

Are Internships Offered?  The most effective approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the colleges you are considering have internship programs arranged with regional veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local Columbia CT vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech school can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A low rate might indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may indicate that the Columbia CT program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure 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. Solicit from the Columbia CT colleges you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Of course, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from work or home, you must make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Columbia CT campus is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it’s imperative that you find out if the Connecticut veterinarian colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered near Columbia CT prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family responsibilities. You may find that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.

Why Did You Decide to Be a Vet Technician?

When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.

Select the Best Vet Tech College near Columbia CT

Picking the ideal vet technician college is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students considering veterinary assistant or tech programs must make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech colleges 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 decision. And by picking the right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet technician, assistant or technologist in Columbia CT.

A Little Bit About Columbia CT

Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making it Connecticut's third-largest city after the coastal cities of Bridgeport and New Haven. Census Bureau estimates since then have indicated Hartford's fall to fourth place statewide, as a result of sustained population growth in the coastal city of Stamford.[2]

Hartford is nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", as it hosts many insurance company headquarters and insurance is the region's major industry. The city was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States. It is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest publicly funded park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (The Hartford Courant), and the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public High School). It also is home to Trinity College, a private liberal arts college, and the Mark Twain House where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family, among other historically significant attractions. Twain wrote in 1868, "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief."[3]

Following the American Civil War, Hartford was the richest city in the United States for several decades.[4] Today, Hartford is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty line. In sharp contrast, the Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 7th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income. Highlighting the socio-economic disparity between Hartford and its suburbs, 83% of Hartford's jobs are filled by commuters from neighboring towns who earn over $80,000, while 75% of Hartford residents who commute to work in other towns earn just $40,000.[5]

 

 

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