How to Find the Right Veterinary Technician College near Wilton Connecticut
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet program near Wilton CT could at first seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you have to find and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting colleges so that you can make the correct selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. Once they have identified some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the various roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the principal factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are many jobs that they can carry out within the Wilton CT veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Wilton CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and normally acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complex duties, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and basically carry out the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes 4 years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Wilton CT area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Training Classes
An option that may 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 offered over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Wilton CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for traveling and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Training Programs
By now you should have determined which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Connecticut as well as across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Wilton CT veterinary technician and assistant programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the veterinary assistant or tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that confirms 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 obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Wilton CT veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you choose should have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting 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 specific schools. As a final suggestion, call some Wilton CT veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with area veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local Wilton CT vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a vet technician or assistant program may 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 teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may indicate that the Wilton CT college has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean that the training is not well 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, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Wilton CT programs you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for 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 College Located? Of course, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to drive to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you have to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Wilton CT campus is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s essential that you find out if the Connecticut vet schools you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available near Wilton CT prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may find that an online school is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled 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 also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Best Veterinary Technician School near Wilton CT
Enrolling in the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech college is an important first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students thinking about vet assistant or tech programs must make their determination based on a number of key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you pick 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 evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Wilton CT.
A Little Bit About Wilton CT
Wilton is a town in Fairfield County in southwestern Connecticut in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 18,062.
Officially recognized as a parish in 1726, Wilton is today, like many other Fairfield County towns, an expensive residential community with open lands (a testament to its colonial farming roots), historic architecture and extensive town services. Residents commonly commute to New York City, Stamford, and Norwalk, although there are a number of office buildings in town.
Wilton is home to many successful start-up companies, national strategy and professional services and consulting firms, and global corporations such as ASML, Deloitte & Touche, Sun Products, Breitling USA, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Melissa & Doug, Clear Conscience Pet and the Blue Buffalo Company. Many Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered within a 30-minute train or car commute. AIG Financial Products was headquartered in the town. Its trading in credit derivatives essentially bankrupted its parent company, AIG, and helped create the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.
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