How to Choose a Veterinary Assistant Training near Woodbury Connecticut
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Woodbury CT may at first feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a college that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper selection? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. Once they have found some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should 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 go over the various duties of vet assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Role of a Vet Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Woodbury CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the conventional 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 almost all instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Woodbury CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared 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 vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complex duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs 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 Woodbury CT area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Schools
An option that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered through the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Woodbury CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for example for traveling and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Programs
At this point you probably have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Connecticut and across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the Woodbury CT vet technician and assistant programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or technician program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, one of 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 demanding review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Woodbury CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you enroll in should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Woodbury CT veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to get practical hands on training as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local Woodbury CT veterinary community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate might mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the Woodbury CT college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Woodbury CT schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from home or work, you must confirm 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 commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Woodbury CT campus is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you determine if the Connecticut vet colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered near Woodbury CT before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies. You might discover that an online school is the best solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Veterinary Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a vet tech, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Right Vet Tech School near Woodbury CT
Picking the ideal vet assistant or tech school is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary assistant or tech colleges must make their determination based on a number of key issues. Vet assistants, techs 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 very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the ideal college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Woodbury CT.
A Little Bit About Woodbury CT
Woodbury is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 9,975 at the 2010 census. The town center is also designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). Woodbury was founded in 1673.
The center of Woodbury is distinctive because, unlike many New England towns, it is not nucleated. In Woodbury, the older buildings are arrayed in linear fashion along both sides of a road that stretches for over a mile. The public buildings in the National Register Historic District include the First Congregational Church (1818), the Old Town Hall (1846), the United Methodist Church, the St. Paul's Episcopal Church (1785), and the North Congregational Church (1816).
The most notable of the public buildings is the Masonic Temple (1839). It is a modest, clapboard, Greek Revival temple, notable less for its architecture than for its dramatic location, situated atop a high cliff accessed by a long flight of steps (there is a modern road at the rear). It is visible from a distance and is especially dramatic at night, when it is illuminated by spotlights. The Woodbury Temple echoes the many temples of the Greek world that were perched at the edge of high places from which they could be seen from miles around and from far out at sea.
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