How to Select a Vet Tech Training near Stafford Springs Connecticut
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near Stafford Springs CT may initially feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you must locate and enroll in a program that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the best selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their residences. After they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final selection. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the various responsibilities of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Role of a Vet Technician and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, 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 both work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of duties that they can carry out within the Stafford Springs CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the typical vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Stafford Springs CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and basically perform the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Stafford Springs CT area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Schools
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Stafford Springs CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, such as for traveling and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make certain that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized 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 independent mode, an online veterinary technician or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Training Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Connecticut as well as across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Stafford Springs CT veterinary assistant and tech colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the veterinary tech or assistant college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, among 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 screening process that verifies you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for many Stafford Springs CT vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Stafford Springs CT veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to get clinical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local Stafford Springs CT veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate might suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could signify that the Stafford Springs CT program has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Stafford Springs CT programs you are looking at what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you must make sure that the driving 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 Stafford Springs CT campus is located close by or within a larger city. Also, 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 fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you determine if the Connecticut veterinarian colleges you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others might 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 Stafford Springs CT before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Veterinary Tech Degree Program near Stafford Springs CT
Selecting the right veterinary technician college is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career delivering care and treatment for animals. Students thinking about vet tech or assistant colleges need to make their selection based on several key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when 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 online vet tech schools 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 selection. And by picking the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Stafford Springs CT.
A Little Bit About Stafford Springs 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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