How to Enroll In a Vet Tech School near Somers Connecticut
Achieving your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Somers CT might at first seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must find and enroll in a college that will provide the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper selection? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their homes. When they have located some local schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final decision. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the various roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to 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 while there are many functions that they can carry out within the Somers CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have undergone 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 vocational school or community college near Somers CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and typically acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Somers CT area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Degree Programs
An alternative that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Somers CT veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for example for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just be 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 clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the ideal choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Colleges
At this point you should have determined which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the United States, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Somers CT vet technician and assistant programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet assistant or technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that ensures you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Somers CT veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, contact some Somers CT veterinarians that you might want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build associations in the local Somers CT veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate could indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the Somers CT school has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not highly thought of 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 personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Somers CT schools you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet technician classes from home or work, you need to 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 commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Somers CT school is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking classes online may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you ascertain if the Connecticut veterinary schools you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work 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 in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near Somers CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online college is the ideal way 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 helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Right Veterinary Technician Program near Somers CT
Picking the appropriate vet assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary assistant or tech colleges must make their determination based on several key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you pick 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 provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by choosing the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Somers CT.
A Little Bit About Somers CT
Somers /ˈsʌmərz/ is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut, USA. The population was 11,444 at the 2010 census. The town center is listed by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). In 2007, Money Magazine named Somers, Connecticut 53rd on its list of 100 Best Places to Live, based on "economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community."
Bordering Massachusetts, Somers is considered part of the City of Springfield, Massachusetts NECTA. Somers is only 9 miles from the City of Springfield, Massachusetts, and considered more oriented toward it than the City of Hartford, Connecticut, which lies 16 miles to the south.
Somers was originally part of the Agawam Plantation in the 17th century. Agawam Plantation became Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1641 and in 1682, the Enfield Parish broke off from the Springfield settlement. In 1706, the first settler came to Somers in what was then East Enfield. In the year 1734, Somers became a town and was named after John Somers, 1st Baron Somers. In the year 1749, Somers joined the Connecticut Colony. The Four Town Fair which is usually held after the third weekend in September is one of the oldest fairs in the Country.
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