How to Choose a Vet Assistant School near Taftville Connecticut
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet program near Taftville CT could initially feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about assessing and comparing colleges so that you can make the correct selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. Once they have located some area colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final choice. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various duties of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization interests 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 numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Taftville CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard 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 completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Taftville CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian 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 involved in more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years. So 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 work options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Taftville CT area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian Degree Programs
An option that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Taftville CT veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for instance for traveling and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the United States, you should ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the Taftville CT veterinary assistant and tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or technician school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive screening process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for many Taftville CT vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, get in touch with some Taftville CT veterinarians that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop connections in the local Taftville CT vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate might mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the Taftville CT school has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Taftville CT schools you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few 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 find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from home or work, you must make sure that the commuting time is compatible with 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 Taftville CT campus is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes 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 important that you find out if the Connecticut veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available near Taftville CT before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of work, sickness or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Vet Tech Degree Program near Taftville CT
Enrolling in the right vet assistant or tech school is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students looking into veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their determination based on several key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. 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 narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the best college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Taftville CT.
A Little Bit About Taftville CT
Taftville is a small village in eastern Connecticut. It is a neighborhood of Norwich but has its own post office (ZIP Code 06380). It was established in 1866 as site for the large Taftville Mill, later Ponemah Mill. The village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Taftville and as alternative name Taftville/Ponemah Mill National Register Historic District.
Currently redevelopment of the large mill is being conducted by The O'Neill Group in conjunction with OneKey LLC. The National Park Service will oversee the historic preservation of the structure, to ensure the historic elements are sustained. The 430,000-square-foot (40,000 m2) Ponemah Mill is being converted into luxury apartments and commercial space.
The Taftville Cotton Mill, a cotton textile factory, was built on the Shetucket River where a large dam could be built to provide power. The large mill building (Building No. 1) was purported to be the largest weave-shed under one roof at that time. The original workers were predominantly Irish immigrants, and they were hard hit by the depression of the 1870s that began with the Panic of 1873. Unemployment rose and wages dropped appreciably from 1873 to 1875, causing bitter relations between workers and management in many places.
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