How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant Training near Newtown Connecticut
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary school near Newtown CT might initially seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the proper training to ensure 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 ideal choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their residences. Once they have located some local schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final choice. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the various roles of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Role of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary 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 direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous jobs that they can carry out within the Newtown CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a structured 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 Newtown CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and usually earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex functions, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Newtown CT area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Training Classes
An option that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Newtown CT veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for traveling and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Training Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Connecticut as well as across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Newtown CT veterinary assistant and technician schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the veterinary technician or assistant school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, among 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 superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a precondition for employment for a number of Newtown CT veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with internet 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 complaints or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Newtown CT veterinary clinics 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 programs 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 professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Newtown CT veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant college may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate might signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Newtown CT college has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Newtown CT schools you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet technician classes from home or work, you must confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Newtown CT college is located near or in a large 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 costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you find out if the Connecticut vet colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend 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 need are offered near Newtown CT prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Veterinary Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right Veterinary Tech Training Program near Newtown CT
Picking the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech college is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering vet tech or assistant programs must make their selection based on a number of key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. 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 narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the ideal program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Newtown CT.
A Little Bit About Newtown CT
Newtown is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It is part of the greater Danbury metropolitan area as well as the New York metropolitan area. Newtown was founded in 1705 and later incorporated in 1711. As of the 2010 census, its population was 27,560.
In 1705, English colonists purchased the Town site from the Pohtatuck Indians, a branch of the Pasgussett. It was originally known as Quanneapague. Settled by migrants from Stratford and incorporated in 1711, Newtown residents had many business and trading ties with the English. It was a stronghold of Tory sentiment during the early Revolutionary War. Late in the war, French General Rochambeau and his troops encamped here in 1781 during their celebrated march on their way to the siege of Yorktown, Virginia, which ended the Revolution.
An important crossroads throughout its early history, the village of Hawleyville briefly emerged as a railroad center. The town's population grew to over 4,000 circa 1881. In the following decades, the population dwindled to a low of 2,635 in 1930 before again growing.
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