How to Choose a Vet Tech School near Marlborough Connecticut
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Marlborough CT might initially seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a school that will furnish the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the correct choice? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. Once they have identified some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated 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 presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the different roles of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many jobs that they can perform within the Marlborough CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Marlborough 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 involved with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and normally acquire a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially perform the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated 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. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Marlborough CT area research facilities as well.
Veterinary Online Degree Programs
An approach that may make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Marlborough CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, such as for travel and study materials, can be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. 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 vet tech or assistant program may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Connecticut as well as across the Country, you should ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Marlborough CT vet assistant and technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the veterinary tech or assistant college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, 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 an extensive review process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Marlborough CT veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Marlborough CT veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Marlborough CT vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate may signify that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the Marlborough CT program has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could indicate that the training is not highly regarded 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 may get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Marlborough CT schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you have to make sure that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Marlborough CT college is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s important that you ascertain if the Connecticut vet colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered near Marlborough CT before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Veterinary Tech School near Marlborough CT
Choosing the right veterinary assistant or tech program is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant programs need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Marlborough CT.
A Little Bit About Marlborough CT
Marlborough is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It contains the census-designated place (CDP) of Terramuggus. The town's population was 6,404 at the 2010 census. Marlborough is an upper class suburban and rural community. The local high school is RHAM High School. In 2013, Marlborough ranked third (of 24) in Connecticut Magazine's biannual ranking of Connecticut small towns, median home sale price between $175,000 and $224,999. Educationally, RHAM High School, which serves Marlborough, Hebron, and Andover students, was the top-ranked regional high school in the state on the SAT in 2017, and 11th highest-performing school in the state on the test.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.5 square miles (60.9 km2), of which 23.4 square miles (60.5 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.73%, is water. Marlborough is adjacent to four other Connecticut towns (Glastonbury to the north, East Hampton to the west, Colchester to the south, and Hebron to the east). East Hampton, Colchester and Hebron are each in different counties from each other and from Marlborough.
Route 2, a two-lane highway (sometimes three) in most sections, bisects the town, and there are three Marlborough exits, at South Main Street, Route 66, and West Road, although there are exits westbound only for South Main and eastbound only for West Road. It takes approximately 15– 20 minutes to get to Hartford, 40 minutes to New London, 45 minutes to New Haven, and 40 minutes to Springfield, MA. Marlborough is generally equidistant between Boston and New York. Boston is an hour and 45 minutes away, while New York City is a two-hour car ride, pending traffic conditions. Popular vacation areas are also reasonable drives from Marlborough. The Berkshire Mountains are an hour and 20 minutes away, and popular Rhode Island beaches, depending on which one you go to, are an hour (Misquamicut, Westerly) to an hour and 20 minutes away (Narragansett).
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