How to Select a Vet Assistant Training near Waterford Connecticut
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet school near Waterford CT might initially seem like a challenging task. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a school that will deliver the necessary training so that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their homes. After they have located some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are significant concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various roles of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Veterinary 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 decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary factor will probably be which specialty appeals to 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 numerous duties that they can carry out within the Waterford CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Waterford CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training in contrast to assistants and typically obtain a two 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 fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex activities, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- 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 generally takes four years. Therefore the only real distinction 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 potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Waterford CT area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Programs
An approach that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are made available over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Waterford 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 expenses, for example for commuting and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut as well as across the Country, you should ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you want to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Waterford CT veterinary assistant and tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet technician or assistant college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous screening process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a requirement for employment for many Waterford CT vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking 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 violations relating to your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Waterford CT veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help build associations in the local Waterford CT vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate could suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the Waterford CT college has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower 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 probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Waterford CT schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from work or home, you need to make certain 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 Waterford CT school is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s imperative that you find out if the Connecticut veterinarian programs you are evaluating 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 in the evenings. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered near Waterford CT before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family issues. You may find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to select veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet tech, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Veterinary Technician School near Waterford CT
Choosing the ideal vet technician college is an important first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students considering vet assistant or tech schools must make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you pick 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 included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the ideal program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Waterford CT.
A Little Bit About Waterford CT
Waterford is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. It is named after Waterford, Ireland. The population was 19,517 at the 2010 census. The town center is listed as a census-designated place (CDP) and had a population of 2,887 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.6 square miles (115.4 km2), of which 32.8 square miles (84.9 km2) is land and 11.8 square miles (30.5 km2), or 26.43%, is water. The town center CDP has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all land. Waterford is bordered on the west by the Niantic River.
Other minor communities and geographic features are Dufree Hill, East Neck, Fog Plain, Gilead, Goshen, Great Neck, Harrisons, Lake's Pond, Logger Hill, Mago Point, Magonk, Mullen Hill, Oswegatchie, Pepperbox Road, Pleasure Beach, Ridgewood Park, Riverside Beach, Spithead, Strand, West Neck.
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