How to Select a Veterinary Assistant College near Stafford Connecticut
Achieving your long term dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet program near Stafford CT might at first seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will furnish the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their homes. When they have identified some local schools, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the varied roles of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Stafford CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements 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 practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Stafford CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and generally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Stafford CT area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Programs
An alternative that might make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Stafford CT veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for example for travel and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you should have determined which veterinarian credential that you would like to attain, and if you want 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 relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the Stafford CT veterinary assistant and tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the vet assistant or technician program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through 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 assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Stafford CT vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Stafford CT veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local Stafford CT veterinary community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might mean that the Stafford CT program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Stafford CT schools you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you have to make certain that the driving 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 Stafford CT campus is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you find out if the Connecticut veterinarian programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available near Stafford CT before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Veterinary Technician School near Stafford CT
Enrolling in the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech program is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Future students looking into veterinary assistant or tech schools must make their determination based on multiple key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important 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 reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Stafford CT.
A Little Bit About Stafford CT
Stafford is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut, United States, settled in 1719. The population was 12,192 at the 2010 census. The community consists of the downtown area of Stafford Springs and the more rural villages of Crystal Lake, Ellithorpe, Hydeville, Orcuttsville, Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Village Hill, and West Stafford.
The Colonial Town of Stafford began as a rural agricultural community in the eastern part of Hartford County. It became part of Tolland County upon the latter's formation on 13 October 1785. The easy availability of water power from the tributaries of the Willimantic River led to industrialization, and this abundance of power helped generate local population growth. By the mid-19th century, Stafford was connected by railroad to markets across New England, and before the State Highway projects of the 1920s and 1930s, the town had a trolley connection to Rockville, CT.
During the Civil War, factories in Stafford made cannonballs and other war supplies for the northern forces.
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