How to Choose a Vet Tech Training near Waterbury Connecticut
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet school near Waterbury CT might at first feel like a daunting endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and contrasting programs so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their homes. Once they have located some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final decision. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the varied responsibilities of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Vet Assistant and Tech
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the main determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous jobs that they can perform within the Waterbury CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Waterbury CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training in contrast to assistants and usually acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years to complete. So the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Waterbury CT area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Schools
An option that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered through the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Waterbury CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, for instance for commuting and study supplies, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Programs
At this point you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Waterbury CT veterinary technician and assistant schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the vet assistant or technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive screening process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Waterbury CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions concerning your specific schools. As a final tip, phone some Waterbury CT veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Waterbury CT vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the Waterbury CT program has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Waterbury CT schools you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet technician classes from home or work, you have to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Waterbury CT campus is located in or close by a larger city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s imperative that you determine if the Connecticut veterinary schools you are looking at 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 in the evenings. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered near Waterbury CT prior to 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 find that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Vet Technologist Degree Program near Waterbury CT
Selecting the right vet assistant or tech college is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students looking into veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their decision based on a number of key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the best college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Waterbury CT.
A Little Bit About Waterbury CT
Waterbury (nicknamed "The Brass City") (/ˈwɔːtərbɛri/ WOR-tər-berr-ee) is a city in the U.S. state of Connecticut on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles (45 minutes) southwest of Hartford and 77 miles (90 minutes) northeast of New York City. Waterbury is in New Haven County, Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, Waterbury had a population of 110,366, making it the 10th largest city in the New York Metropolitan Area, 9th largest city in New England and the 5th largest city in Connecticut.
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Waterbury had large industrial interests and was the leading center in the United States for the manufacture of brassware (including castings and finishings), as reflected in the nickname the "Brass City" and the city's motto Quid Aere Perennius? ("What Is More Lasting Than Brass?"). It was noted for the manufacture of watches and clocks.
The city is along Interstate 84 (Yankee Expressway) and Route 8 and has a Metro-North railroad station with connections to Grand Central Terminal. Waterbury is also home to Post University and the regional campuses of the University of Connecticut, University of Bridgeport, Western Connecticut State University as well as Naugatuck Valley Community College.
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