How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant School near West Haven Connecticut
Fulfilling your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near West Haven CT might at first feel like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you must locate and enroll in a program that will deliver the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the right selection? Many future students begin their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. After they have identified some area colleges, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the various duties of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Role of a Vet Assistant and Tech
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the primary determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can perform within the West Haven CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near West Haven CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared to assistants and usually earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved activities, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and essentially perform the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years to complete. Therefore the only real 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 opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or West Haven CT area research facilities also.
Vet Online Training Classes
An alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local West Haven CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for example for travel and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
At this point you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary 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 alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the West Haven CT vet technician and assistant programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or technician 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 undergone an extensive review process that confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of West Haven CT vet practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with internet 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 grievances or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, call some West Haven CT vet clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local West Haven CT veterinary community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant school may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the West Haven CT school has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the West Haven CT colleges you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet technician classes from work or home, you need to make certain that the commuting 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, especially if the West Haven CT school is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you ascertain if the Connecticut veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are offered near West Haven CT before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask veterinary applicants 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 might have for becoming a veterinary technician, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Vet Tech School near West Haven CT
Enrolling in the appropriate vet assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Students considering veterinary assistant or tech colleges need to make their determination based on several key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent 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 choices so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in West Haven CT.
A Little Bit About West Haven CT
West Haven, Connecticut
West Haven is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 55,564.
Settled in 1648, West Haven (then known as West Farms) was a part of the original New Haven Colony. In 1719, it became the separate parish of West Haven, but was still officially a part of New Haven until 1822.
During the American Revolution, West Haven was the frequent launch and arrival point for raiding parties on both sides of the war. On July 5, 1779, the British invaded New Haven Harbor and came ashore in West Haven and East Haven. Thomas Painter, a teenaged militiaman watching for the approaching British ships while standing atop Savin Rock, is depicted on the city seal. The main commercial street, Campbell Avenue, is named for British Adjutant William Campbell, at the time an ensign in the Third Guards, who rescued the Reverend Noah Williston, the local Congregational minister and outspoken revolutionary, from being bayoneted by British and Hessian troopers, after he broke his leg trying to escape his captors. Campbell then ordered the soldiers to help the minister back to the parsonage and had the regimental surgeon set his leg. Campbell is also credited with keeping the troops in reasonably good order during their march through the village and reportedly had two soldiers arrested after a local woman accused them of stealing her jewelry. Campbell was killed hours later atop Allingtown Hill on his way to New Haven by a local farmer-turned defender. Campbell is buried in the Allingtown section of town off Prudden Street. Patriot victims of the invasion are buried in the Christ Church and First Society Cemetery. A historical headstone marks Campbell's approximate gravesite and is maintained by the West Haven Historical Society.
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