How to Enroll In a Vet Assistant Program near Hartford Connecticut
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary program near Hartford CT may at first feel like a daunting endeavor. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a college that will furnish the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. After they have identified some area colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are significant factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final choice. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various duties of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Function of a Vet Assistant and Technician
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal factor will probably 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 licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Hartford CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Hartford 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 complex activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual 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 compared to assistants and typically obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years. Therefore the only real difference 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, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Hartford CT area research facilities also.
Vet Online Schools
An alternative that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Hartford CT veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for instance for travel and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian certificate or degree that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut as well as across the Country, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Hartford CT veterinary assistant and tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 an extensive review process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Hartford CT veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some Hartford CT veterinarians that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to get practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local Hartford CT veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate may indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the Hartford CT college 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 placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Hartford CT schools you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary tech classes from home or work, you have to confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Hartford 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 community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important that you find out if the Connecticut veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available near Hartford CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online college is the best solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Vet Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask veterinary candidates is "What made you pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Veterinary Tech School near Hartford CT
Picking the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech college is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Students thinking about vet tech or assistant colleges must make their selection based on several key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding 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 narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the best school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Hartford CT.
A Little Bit About Hartford CT
Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making it Connecticut's third-largest city after the coastal cities of Bridgeport and New Haven. Census Bureau estimates since then have indicated Hartford's fall to fourth place statewide, as a result of sustained population growth in the coastal city of Stamford.
Hartford is nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", as it hosts many insurance company headquarters and insurance is the region's major industry. The city was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States. It is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest publicly funded park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (The Hartford Courant), and the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public High School). It also is home to Trinity College, a private liberal arts college, and the Mark Twain House where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family, among other historically significant attractions. Twain wrote in 1868, "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief."
Following the American Civil War, Hartford was the richest city in the United States for several decades. Today, Hartford is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty line. In sharp contrast, the Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 7th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income. Highlighting the socio-economic disparity between Hartford and its suburbs, 83% of Hartford's jobs are filled by commuters from neighboring towns who earn over $80,000, while 75% of Hartford residents who commute to work in other towns earn just $40,000.
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