How to Select a Vet Tech School near Enfield Connecticut
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet college near Enfield CT might at first feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and contrasting programs so that you can make the correct choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. After they have located some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered 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 presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the different roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Role of a Veterinary Technician and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the principal factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can perform within the Enfield CT veterinary practice 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 away from the standard vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters 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 undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Enfield CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and normally obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that 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 obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Enfield CT area research facilities as well.
Veterinary Online Courses
An approach 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 training program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Enfield CT veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting and study supplies, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the right option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Connecticut as well as across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Enfield CT vet assistant and tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the veterinary technician or assistant school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for a number of Enfield CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online 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 recommendation, contact some Enfield CT veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local Enfield 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 assistant or tech college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the Enfield CT college has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement 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 Enfield CT programs you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. 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 approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you have to make certain 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Enfield CT campus is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s important that you find out if the Connecticut veterinarian colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available near Enfield CT before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Vet Technician School near Enfield CT
Choosing the appropriate vet assistant or tech college is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for animals. Students considering vet assistant or tech colleges must make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Enfield CT.
A Little Bit About Enfield CT
Enfield is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 44,654 at the 2010 census. It is bordered by Longmeadow, Massachusetts and East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, to the north, Somers to the east, East Windsor and Ellington to the south, and the Connecticut River (towns of Suffield and Windsor Locks) to the west.
Enfield was originally inhabited by the Pocomtuc tribe, and contained their two villages of Scitico and Nameroke. Enfield was settled in 1679 by settlers from Salem, Massachusetts. Enfield was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1683 as the Freshwater Plantation. The namesake is the Freshwater Brook that triverses the town. Shortly around 1700, the town changed its name to Enfield after Enfield Town in Middlesex. In 1734, the western part of town separated into the town of Somers. In 1749, following the settlement of a lawsuit in which it was determined that a surveyor's error placed a section of present-day Hartford County (including Enfield) within the boundaries of Massachusetts, the town seceded and became part of Connecticut.
Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", in Enfield. It was part of the Great Awakening revival that struck New England in the mid-18th century and spread throughout Western North American civilization.
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