How to Enroll In a Veterinary Assistant College near New London Connecticut
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet program near New London CT may at first feel like a challenging task. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a school that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the proper choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. When they have identified some local schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the various responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of a Vet Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of jobs that they can perform within the New London CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college near New London 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 complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex functions, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or New London CT area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Training Programs
An alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian 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 schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local New London CT veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for commuting and study materials, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Degree Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian certificate or degree that you want to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the New London CT veterinary assistant and technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet assistant or tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, 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 thorough screening process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a precondition for employment for many New London CT veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary 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 tips include checking with online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some New London CT vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local New London CT vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the New London CT college has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the New London CT colleges you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary tech classes from home or work, you need to make certain 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 New London CT college is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s important that you determine if the Connecticut vet programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available near New London CT prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family issues. You may find that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Vet Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Veterinary Assistant College near New London CT
Selecting the appropriate vet technician program is a critical first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into veterinary assistant or tech programs must make their determination based on several key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you choose 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 assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the right college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in New London CT.
A Little Bit About New London CT
New London, Connecticut
New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States. It is located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London County, Southeastern Connecticut.
For several decades beginning in the early 19th century, New London was one of the world's three busiest whaling ports, along with Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The wealth that whaling brought into the city furnished the capital to fund much of the city's present architecture. New London subsequently became home to other shipping and manufacturing industries, but has gradually lost its commercial and industrial heart.
New London is home to the United States Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, Mitchell College, and The Williams School. The Coast Guard Station New London and New London Harbor is home port to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chinook and the Coast Guard's tall ship Eagle. The city had a population of 27,620 at the 2010 census. The Norwich-New London metropolitan area (NECTA) includes twenty-one towns and 274,055 people.
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