How to Choose a Vet Tech School near Kissimmee Florida
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Kissimmee FL might initially feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the best choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. After they have located some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final choice. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the varied 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 have to make is if you want to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Kissimmee FL veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Kissimmee FL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared to assistants and normally obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complex functions, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Kissimmee FL area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Courses
An approach that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Kissimmee FL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, for instance for travel and study supplies, can be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Degree Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you wish to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Florida and across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Kissimmee FL vet assistant and tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, one of the most highly respected 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 obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a requirement for employment for many Kissimmee FL veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Florida school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Kissimmee FL vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local Kissimmee FL veterinarian community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate may signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the Kissimmee FL program has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean 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 sized, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Kissimmee FL schools you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet technician classes from home or work, you have to make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Kissimmee FL campus is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s essential that you find out if the Florida veterinary colleges you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered near Kissimmee FL before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of sickness, work or family issues. You may find that an online college is the best way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Vet Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Best Vet Technologist Program near Kissimmee FL
Enrolling in the right vet assistant or tech college is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech colleges must make their selection based on multiple key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Kissimmee FL.
A Little Bit About Kissimmee FL
Kissimmee (/kɪˈsɪmiː/ ki-SIM-ee) is a city in Osceola County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 59,682. It is the county seat of Osceola County. It is a Principal City of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2010 population of 2,134,411.
This area was originally named Allendale, after Confederate Major J. H. Allen who operated the first cargo steamboat along the Kissimmee River – the Mary Belle. It was renamed Kissimmee when incorporated as a city in 1883. The etymology of the name Kissimmee is debated, apart from general agreement that it is Native American in origin. Its growth can be credited to Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia, who based his four-million acre (8,000 km2) drainage operation out of the small town. Disston had contracted with the financially wobbly state of Florida to drain its southern lands, for which he would own half of all he successfully drained. This deal made Disston the largest single landowner in the United States.
Disston's dredging and land speculation required a small steamboat industry to transport people and goods along the new waterway. The Kissimmee shipyard was responsible for building most of these large steamships, which were just one jump ahead of civilization—with Kissimmee as the jumping off point. Concurrently, the South Florida Railroad was growing and extended the end of its line from Sanford down to Kissimmee, making the town on Lake Tohopekaliga a transportation hub for Central Florida. On February 12, 1885, the Florida Legislature incorporated the Kissimmee City Street Railway.
More Cities of Interest in Florida