How to Pick a Vet Tech College near Guilford Connecticut
Achieving your long term dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary school near Guilford CT might at first feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the correct selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate choice. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the varied roles of vet techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Tech and Assistant
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of functions that they can carry out within the Guilford CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Guilford CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and normally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex activities, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years. Therefore the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Guilford CT area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian Degree Programs
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Guilford CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, such as for traveling and study supplies, can be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Degree Programs
By now you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Guilford CT vet assistant and technician programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough screening process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for a number of Guilford CT veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include checking with internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Guilford CT veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local Guilford CT vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant college can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate might mean that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the Guilford CT college has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Guilford CT programs you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from work or home, you must make sure 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Guilford CT campus is located close by or within a larger city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the Connecticut vet programs you are considering 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 at night. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered near Guilford CT prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online program is the best way to fit your vet training into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Veterinary Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a veterinary technician, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Veterinary Tech Training Program near Guilford CT
Selecting the right vet technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech or assistant colleges must make their decision based on a number of key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Guilford CT.
A Little Bit About Guilford CT
Guilford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, that borders Madison, Branford, North Branford and Durham, and is situated on I-95 and the coast. The population was 22,375 at the 2010 census. In 2015 the population stands at approximately 22,413 people. It was named one of the top 100 places to live in the United States by Money magazine in 2005.
Guilford was named after the town of Guildford, in England, whose name differs from its own less in pronunciation than in spelling. In early maps of the Connecticut Colony, the town is seen on several maps as Gilford.
First settled by Europeans in 1639 after being purchased from Native American leader Wequash, Guilford is considered by some to have the third largest collection of historic homes in New England, with important buildings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. There are five historic house museums, including Dudley Farm and the Henry Whitfield House (1639), the oldest dwelling house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in North America. The Comfort Starr House (1645–46) is one of the oldest wooden framed private dwellings in Connecticut, and one of the few houses remaining of the original signers who settled Guilford.
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