How to Choose a Veterinary Technician School near Watertown Connecticut
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian college near Watertown CT could at first feel like a challenging task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a school that will provide the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the ideal choice? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. Once they have identified some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. 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 an ultimate selection. We have furnished 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 Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are a number of jobs that they can perform within the Watertown CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of 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 Watertown CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated activities, 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 controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved functions, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires four years to complete. So the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Watertown CT area research facilities as well.
Online Veterinarian Schools
An alternative that might be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Watertown CT veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, for example for travel and study materials, can be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the online school 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 included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Colleges
By now you should have determined which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Connecticut as well as across the United States, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other important qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Watertown CT veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the veterinary tech or assistant college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough review process that ensures you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for a number of Watertown CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, call some Watertown CT vet clinics that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Watertown CT veterinarian community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant college may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate could mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might signify that the Watertown CT school has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Watertown CT programs you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet tech classes from work or home, you need to make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Watertown CT campus is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in 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. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the Connecticut veterinarian colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough 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. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are offered near Watertown CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work 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 Want to Become a Veterinary Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What made you choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Vet Tech School near Watertown CT
Picking the right veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students considering veterinary tech or assistant programs need to make their decision based on several key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals when 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 goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included 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 choosing the right school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Watertown CT.
A Little Bit About Watertown CT
Watertown is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 22,514 at the 2010 census. The zip code for Watertown is 06795. It is a suburb of Waterbury. It borders the towns of Woodbury, Middlebury, Litchfield, Plymouth, Bethlehem, and Thomaston. The urban center of the town is the Watertown census-designated place, with a population of 3,574 at the 2010 census.
Around 1657 began the colonization of the area today called Watertown. In that time, the colony was called Mattatock, though it had several variations in spelling through the years. The land where Watertown is now located, having originally belonged to Mattatock, officially changed its name to Watterbury (now Waterbury) by record on March 20, 1695, by consensus of a council. Essentially, the original Colony of Mattatuck, which became Watterbury, then Waterbury in name, comprised a much greater land area than Waterbury does today. The original name for Watertown was Waterbury. Thomas Judd and other families were among the first investors to buy the land as a group. The Town of Watertown was officially incorporated in 1780 under a charter within the United States of America.
It is in the Eastern Standard time zone. The elevation is 620 feet.
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