How to Enroll In a Veterinary Assistant Training near Lakeville Connecticut
Fulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet school near Lakeville CT might initially seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you have to find and enroll in a college that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the right selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their homes. After they have located some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the varied responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialization interests 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 although there are many functions that they can perform within the Lakeville CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Lakeville CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and usually earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Lakeville CT area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Colleges
An option that might make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered over the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Lakeville CT veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for example for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive 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 perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the Lakeville CT vet assistant and technician colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the vet assistant or tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. 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 undergone a demanding review process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Lakeville CT veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you select should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online 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 specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Lakeville CT vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local Lakeville CT veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant college may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate may suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the Lakeville CT program has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate 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 bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Lakeville CT programs you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback 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 College Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet assistant classes from work or home, you need to confirm 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, especially if the Lakeville CT school is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s important that you determine if the Connecticut vet schools you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, 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 classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available near Lakeville CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask veterinary candidates is "What made you choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Veterinary Technician Program near Lakeville CT
Choosing the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech school is an important first step to starting a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into veterinary tech or assistant 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 duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding 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 selection. And by selecting the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Lakeville CT.
A Little Bit About Lakeville CT
Lakeville is a village in Litchfield County, Connecticut, bordering Dutchess County, New York. It has its own zip code (06039). It is part of Salisbury, however for purposes of navigation, has nothing in common with Salisbury. The Hotchkiss and Indian Mountain Schools are located in Lakeville.
Until 1846, Lakeville was called "Furnace Village", due to the location there of one of the early blast furnaces of the historic Salisbury iron industry (one of which was established in the 1760s by future Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen). Benjamin B. Hotchkiss, inventor of the Hotchkiss gun was born in nearby Watertown. A boarding school in his name, the Hotchkiss School, was founded by his widow Maria Bissell Hotchkiss in Lakeville in 1891. It later became coeducational. Lakeville is also the home of Indian Mountain School which is a boarding school for students Pre-K through 9th. It was founded in 1922.
It was also the original home to what would eventually relocate and become the Mansfield Training School, an institution for mentally retarded residents of Connecticut.
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