How to Choose a Veterinary Technician Program near Manchester Connecticut
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary program near Manchester CT could at first feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you must find and enroll in a school that will deliver the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. After they have found some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final decision. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the different duties of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Vet Assistant and Tech
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of duties that they can carry out within the Manchester CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Manchester CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through 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 vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Manchester CT area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Courses
An approach that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Manchester CT veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more traditional 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 classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary technician or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Degree Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Connecticut as well as across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Manchester CT vet assistant and technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or tech college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Manchester CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and checking 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 suggestion, get in touch with some Manchester CT veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the colleges you are considering have internship programs arranged with area veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Manchester CT veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech school may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could signify that the Manchester CT program has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Manchester CT colleges you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from home or work, you have to confirm 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 drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Manchester CT school is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do choose 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. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important that you determine if the Connecticut vet colleges you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered near Manchester CT prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask veterinary candidates is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Vet Technician Degree Program near Manchester CT
Choosing the appropriate veterinary technician school is an important first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students considering vet assistant or tech schools must make their decision based on a number of key factors. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices 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 Manchester CT.
A Little Bit About Manchester CT
Manchester is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 58,241. The urban center of the town is the Manchester census-designated place, with a population of 30,577 at the 2010 census.
Manchester was settled by colonists around 1672 as a farming community, although at the time it was known just as Orford Parish (the name that can be found on the memorial to the Revolutionary soldiers from the town). The many rivers and brooks provided power for paper, lumber and textile industries, and the town quickly evolved into an industrial center. The town of Hartford once included the land now occupied by the towns of Manchester, East Hartford, and West Hartford. In 1783, East Hartford became a separate town, which included Manchester in its city limits until 1823.
The Pitkin Glassworks operated from 1783-1830 as the first successful glassworks in Connecticut. The Pitkin Glassworks Ruin have been preserved by a historical society.
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