How to Choose a Vet Tech College near Sharon Connecticut
Realizing your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet school near Sharon CT may at first seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting schools so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. When they have located some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate decision. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the varied responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Role of a Vet Tech and Assistant
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Sharon CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, 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 exclusive of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Sharon 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 associated with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training in contrast to assistants and usually obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably 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 veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Sharon CT area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Courses
An approach that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinarian school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered through the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Sharon CT veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for instance for commuting and study materials, can be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical 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 technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Degree Programs
At this point you probably have determined which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Connecticut and across the USA, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Sharon CT veterinary technician and assistant schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the vet assistant or technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Sharon CT veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Sharon CT veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local Sharon CT veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the Sharon CT program 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 thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Sharon CT programs you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet assistant classes from work or home, you must confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Sharon CT campus is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the Connecticut veterinarian colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available near Sharon CT prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to sickness, work or family issues. You may find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask veterinary applicants is "What made you pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Select the Right Vet Tech Program near Sharon CT
Selecting the ideal vet assistant or tech program is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students considering vet assistant or tech colleges must make their decision based on a number of key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as 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 profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Sharon CT.
A Little Bit About Sharon CT
Sharon is a town located in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the northwest corner of the state. It is bounded on the north by Salisbury, on the east by the Housatonic River, on the south by Kent, and on the west by Dutchess County, New York. At the time of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 2,782, roughly a third more than it had had 230 years earlier. The ZIP code for Sharon is 06069. The urban center of the town is the Sharon census-designated place, with a population of 729 at the 2010 census.
The first inhabitants of the area they called Poconnuck were the Mattabesec Native Americans. These were part of what became known as the Wappinger confederacy which in turn belonged to the loose Algonquian confederacy.
The following is a description of Sharon and its surroundings from a 1919 guide book to New England travel:
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