How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant School near Mystic Connecticut
Realizing your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary program near Mystic CT might initially seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will provide the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the correct choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their residences. Once they have identified some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate selection. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the different roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Role of a Vet Technician and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many jobs that they can perform within the Mystic CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Mystic CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally 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 stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically carry out the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years to complete. Therefore 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 career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Mystic CT area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinarian Schools
An option that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Mystic CT veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, such as for traveling and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Connecticut as well as across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Mystic CT veterinary technician and assistant colleges that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the veterinary technician or assistant program 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 gone through a rigorous screening process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for many Mystic CT veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Mystic CT vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local Mystic CT veterinary community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy 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 may mean that the Mystic CT school has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Mystic CT programs you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for 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 College Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you must confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Mystic CT college is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s imperative that you find out if the Connecticut veterinary schools you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near Mystic CT before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, sickness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Vet Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask veterinary prospects is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a veterinary technician, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Best Vet Technician Training Program near Mystic CT
Enrolling in the appropriate vet assistant or tech program is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant colleges must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the best program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Mystic CT.
A Little Bit About Mystic CT
Mystic is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 4,205 at the 2010 census. Mystic has no independent government because it is not a municipality in the state of Connecticut; it is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River, and also known as West Mystic) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River).
Historically, Mystic was a leading seaport of the area, and the story of Mystic's nautical connection is told at Mystic Seaport, the nation's largest maritime museum which has preserved a number of sailing ships, most notably the whaler Charles W. Morgan. The village is located on the Mystic River, which flows into Long Island Sound, providing access to the sea. The Mystic River Bascule Bridge crosses the river in the center of the village. According to the Mystic River Historical Society, the name "Mystic" is derived from the Pequot term "missi-tuk", describing a large river whose waters are driven into waves by tides or wind.
Before the 17th century, the indigenousPequot people lived in this portion of southeastern Connecticut.
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