How to Find the Right Vet Assistant College near Westport Connecticut
Fulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Westport CT might at first feel like an overwhelming task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the proper choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their homes. After they have located some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make a final choice. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the varied duties of vet assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Role of a Vet Technician and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous duties that they can carry out within the Westport CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Westport CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training in contrast to assistants and generally acquire 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 general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medicine. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically carry out the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires four years. Therefore the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Westport CT area research facilities as well.
Veterinarian Online Degree Programs
An alternative 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. Because the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Westport CT veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for example for traveling and study supplies, 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 provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Colleges
At this point you probably have determined which veterinarian certificate or degree that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the United States, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Westport CT vet technician and assistant schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or tech college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 ensures you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Westport CT veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with internet school rating 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 targeted schools. As a final suggestion, call some Westport CT veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to get clinical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local Westport CT veterinarian community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A low rate may indicate that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could signify that the Westport CT school 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 regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Westport CT colleges you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary tech classes from work or home, you must make certain that the commuting time fits into 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 Westport CT school is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s imperative that you find out if the Connecticut veterinarian colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many 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. Verify that the class times you need are available near Westport CT before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of sickness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Vet Technician?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What made you choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Vet Technician Degree Program near Westport CT
Picking the appropriate vet technician program is an important first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students looking into vet tech or assistant schools must make their selection based on a number of key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech colleges 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 picking the ideal school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Westport CT.
A Little Bit About Westport CT
Westport is a town located in Connecticut, along Long Island Sound within Connecticut's Gold Coast in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It is 47 miles (76 km) northeast of New York City. The town had a population of 26,391 according to the 2010 U.S. Census, and is ranked 22nd among America’s 100 Richest Places as well as second in Connecticut, with populations between 20,000 and 65,000.
The earliest known inhabitants of the Westport area as identified through archaeological finds date back 7,500 years. Records from the first white settlers report the Pequot Indians living in the area which they called Machamux translated by the colonialists as beautiful land. Settlement by colonialists dates back to the five Bankside Farmers; whose families grew and prospered into a community that continued expanding. The community had its own ecclesiastical society, supported by independent civil and religious elements, enabling it to be independent from the Town of Fairfield. The settlers arrived in 1693, having followed cattle to the isolated area known to the Pequot as the "beautiful land". As the settlement expanded its name changed: it was briefly known as "Bankside" in 1693, officially named Green's Farm in 1732 in honor of Bankside Farmer John Green and in 1835 incorporated as the Town of Westport.
During the revolutionary war—on April 25, 1777, a 1,850 strong British force under the command of the Royal Governor of the Province of New York, Major General William Tryon landed on Compo Beach to destroy the Continental Army’s military supplies in Danbury.Minutemen from Westport and the surrounding areas crouched hiding whilst Tryon's troops passed and then launched an offensive from their rear. A statue on Compo beach commemorates this plan of attack with a crouching Minuteman facing away from the beach; looking onto what would have been the rear of the troops.
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