How to Select a Vet Assistant School near Fairfield Connecticut
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet school near Fairfield CT could at first seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you have to find and enroll in a college that will furnish the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle analyzing and contrasting schools so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their homes. Once they have located some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the different duties of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet 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 principal determiner will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Fairfield CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Fairfield CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and normally obtain a two 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 fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Fairfield CT area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Schools
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Fairfield CT veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, such as for traveling and study supplies, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Connecticut as well as across the USA, you should ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the Fairfield CT vet assistant and technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the vet assistant or tech school you enroll in 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 a rigorous screening process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Fairfield CT vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Fairfield CT veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local Fairfield CT vet community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate may mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the Fairfield CT school has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fairfield CT programs you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary tech classes from work or home, you have to confirm that the commuting 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, particularly if the Fairfield CT college is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the Connecticut vet programs 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 go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near Fairfield CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, sickness or family emergencies. You may find that an online school is the best way to fit your vet education into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Vet Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a vet assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Right Vet Tech School near Fairfield CT
Choosing the ideal vet assistant or tech school is an important first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary assistant or tech programs must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided 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 right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Fairfield CT.
A Little Bit About Fairfield CT
Fairfield is a town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It borders the towns of Bridgeport, Trumbull, Easton, Weston, and Westport along the Gold Coast of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 59,404. In July 2006, Money magazine ranked Fairfield the ninth-best place to live in the United States, and the best place to live in the Northeast.
In 1635, Puritans and Congregationalists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, were dissatisfied with the rate of Anglican reform, and sought to establish an ecclesiastical society subject to their own rules and regulations. The Massachusetts General Court granted them permission to settle in the towns of Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford which is an area now known as Connecticut.
On January 14, 1639, a set of legal and administrative regulations called the Fundamental Orders was adopted, and established Connecticut as a self-ruling entity. By 1639 these settlers had started new towns in the surrounding areas. Roger Ludlowe, framer of the Fundamental Orders, purchased the land presently called Fairfield, and established the name.
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