How to Enroll In a Veterinary Assistant Program near Groton Connecticut
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet college near Groton CT could at first seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a college that will furnish the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle reviewing and comparing programs so that you can make the correct choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their homes. When they have found some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the different responsibilities of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Vet Technician and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many duties that they can carry out within the Groton CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a structured 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 vocational school near Groton CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires 4 years to complete. So 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, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Groton CT area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Training Programs
An option that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Groton CT veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for commuting and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the right option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the Country, you need to ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the Groton CT veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the vet technician or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier 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 undergone a thorough screening process that ensures you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Groton CT veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Groton CT vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get practical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local Groton CT vet community and assist in the search for a job 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 assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate could signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the Groton CT program has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Groton CT colleges you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you have to make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Groton CT school is located in or close by a larger 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 higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s essential that you determine if the Connecticut veterinarian colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered near Groton CT prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask veterinary candidates is "What made you select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Veterinary Technician Program near Groton CT
Selecting the right vet assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Students considering veterinary tech or assistant schools must make their selection based on a number of key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the right college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Groton CT.
A Little Bit About Groton CT
Groton /ˈɡrɒtən/ is a town located on the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 40,115 at the 2010 census.
Groton is the home of the Electric Boat Corporation, which is the major contractor for submarine work for the United States Navy. The Naval Submarine Base New London is located in Groton, and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer is also a major employer. Avery Point in Groton is home to a regional campus of the University of Connecticut.
Groton was established in 1705 when it separated from New London, Connecticut.
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