How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant School near Southbury Connecticut
Achieving your long term goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Southbury CT might initially seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a school that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their residences. Once they have located some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your assessments. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final selection. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the different duties of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
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 preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main 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 immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Southbury CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or carry out 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 instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Southbury CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally acquire a two 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 duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex functions, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years. 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 work opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs 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 labs or Southbury CT area research facilities also.
Online Vet Degree Programs
An alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Southbury CT veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, such as for traveling and study materials, may be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make certain that the program 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 provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut and across the USA, you must ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the Southbury CT vet assistant and technician schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet assistant or technician school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that confirms you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a requirement for employment for a number of Southbury CT veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations relating to your specific schools. As a final pointer, get in touch with some Southbury CT veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local Southbury CT veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the Southbury CT school has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary 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 placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Southbury CT schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may 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 teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you must make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Southbury CT campus is located in or near a larger 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 higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you ascertain if the Connecticut veterinarian programs you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available near Southbury CT prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online program is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a veterinary technician, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing 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 as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Veterinary Technician Program near Southbury CT
Enrolling in the appropriate vet assistant or tech school is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students looking into veterinary tech or assistant schools must make their decision based on multiple key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Southbury CT.
A Little Bit About Southbury CT
Southbury is a town in western New Haven County, Connecticut, USA. Southbury is north of Oxford and Newtown, and east of Brookfield. Its population was 19,904 at the 2010 census.
Southbury comprises sprawling rural country areas, suburban neighborhoods, and historic districts. It is a short distance from major business and commercial centers, and is within 80 miles (130 km) of New York City and 40 miles (64 km) of Hartford; the latter the capital of Connecticut.
Southbury is the only community in the country with the name "Southbury", which is why the town seal reads Unica Unaque, meaning "The One and Only."
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