How to Choose a Vet Tech College near Middlebury Connecticut
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet program near Middlebury CT may at first feel like a challenging undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a college that will deliver the necessary training so that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the correct choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their homes. Once they have identified some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final selection. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various roles of vet techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Function of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Middlebury CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Middlebury CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and typically earn a 2 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 general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially perform the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. So the main distinction 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, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Middlebury CT area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Programs
An alternative that might be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Middlebury CT veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Colleges
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to earn, and if you want 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 should ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the Middlebury CT vet assistant and tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the vet assistant or tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, among 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 demanding screening process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Middlebury CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Middlebury CT vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. 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 regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish connections in the local Middlebury CT vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech college may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy 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 might indicate that the Middlebury CT school has an outstanding reputation within the vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Middlebury CT schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from home or work, you need to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Middlebury CT school is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you find out if the Connecticut veterinary programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are available near Middlebury CT before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies. You may find that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Vet Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask veterinary candidates is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Veterinary Tech Degree Program near Middlebury CT
Picking the right veterinary assistant or tech college is an important first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students looking into veterinary tech or assistant schools need to make their determination based on several key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Middlebury CT.
A Little Bit About Middlebury CT
Middlebury is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 7,575 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.5 square miles (48 km2), of which 17.8 square miles (46 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2), or 3.79%, is water.
Towns that border Middlebury are Southbury, Woodbury, Watertown, Waterbury, Naugatuck and Oxford.
More Cities of Interest in Connecticut