How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant Training near Durham Connecticut
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near Durham CT may initially seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their residences. Once they have located some area colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate choice. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the various roles of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Vet Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many functions that they can perform within the Durham CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed 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 vocational school near Durham CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared to assistants and typically acquire a 2 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 function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the main distinction 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 possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Durham CT area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Degree Programs
An option that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Durham CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for travel and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Connecticut as well as across the USA, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the Durham CT vet assistant and tech colleges that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s essential that you verify that the veterinary technician or assistant school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a requirement for employment for many Durham CT vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin 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 ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Durham CT veterinary clinics 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 some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local Durham CT vet community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate could mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the Durham CT program has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not well thought of 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 probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Durham CT colleges you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from home or work, you must confirm that the driving time is compatible with 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, especially if the Durham CT school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s essential that you determine if the Connecticut veterinary schools you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of 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 later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are available near Durham CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness 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 Decide to Be a Veterinary Technician?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Right Vet Technician Degree Program near Durham CT
Selecting the appropriate vet technician school is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their decision based on a number of key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you pick 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 included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the ideal school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Durham CT.
A Little Bit About Durham CT
Durham is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. Durham is a former farming village on the Coginchaug River in central Connecticut. The population was 7,388 at the 2010 census. Every autumn, the town hosts the Durham Fair, the largest volunteer agricultural fair in New England.
The Durham town center is listed by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place in the 2000 census. The core of the town center has also been listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.8 square miles (62 km2), of which, 23.6 square miles (61 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (40 ha or 0.67%) is water. The town center CDP has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16 km2). 6.3 square miles (16 km2) of it is land and 0.16% is water.
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