How to Enroll In a Veterinary Technician College near Athens Georgia
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Athens GA could at first seem like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will furnish the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing schools so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their residences. Once they have located some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the different responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Tech
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary determiner will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many jobs that they can perform within the Athens GA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Athens GA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their usual functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and generally 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 veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated functions, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years. So the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Athens GA area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Training Programs
An approach that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Athens GA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for commuting and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary technician or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Georgia and across the Country, you must ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the Athens GA vet assistant and technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the veterinary tech or assistant program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, among 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 rigorous screening process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a requirement for employment for many Athens GA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Georgia school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions relating to your targeted schools. As a final tip, contact some Athens GA veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local Athens GA veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or technician school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A low rate might mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the Athens GA college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not well regarded 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 may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Athens GA schools you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary tech classes from work or home, you need to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Athens GA school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending online classes may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the Georgia veterinarian colleges you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered near Athens GA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family issues. You might find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your active life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Vet Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a vet assistant, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Vet Tech Training Program near Athens GA
Selecting the ideal veterinary assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant colleges need to make their determination based on multiple key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the ideal college, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Athens GA.
A Little Bit About Athens GA
Athens (formally known as Athens-Clarke County) is a consolidated city–county in the U.S. state of Georgia, in the northeastern part of the state about an hour's drive from the global city of Atlanta. It comprises the former city of Athens proper (the county seat) and Clarke County. The University of Georgia, the state's flagship public research university, is located in this college town, and contributed to its initial growth. In 1991, after a vote the preceding year, the original city abandoned its charter to form a unified government with Clarke County, referred to jointly as Athens-Clarke County. As of the 2010 census, the consolidated city-county (including all of Athens-Clarke County except Winterville and a portion of Bogart) had a total population of 115,452; all of Clarke County had a population of 116,714. Athens is the sixth-largest city in Georgia, and the principal city of the Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 192,541 as of the 2010 census. Athens-Clarke County has the smallest geographical area of a county in Georgia.
In the late 18th century, a trading settlement on the banks of the Oconee River called Cedar Shoals stood where Athens is located today. On January 27, 1785, the Georgia General Assembly granted a charter by Abraham Baldwin for the University of Georgia as the first state-supported university. Sixteen years later, in 1801, a committee from the university's board of trustees selected a site for the university on a hill above Cedar Shoals, in what was then Jackson County. On July 25, John Milledge, one of the trustees and later governor of Georgia, bought 633 acres (256 ha) from Daniel Easley and donated it to the university. Milledge named the surrounding area Athens after the city that was home to the Platonic Academy of Plato and Aristotle in Greece.
The first buildings on the University of Georgia campus were made from logs. The town grew as lots adjacent to the college were sold to raise money for the additional construction of the school. By the time the first class graduated from the university in 1804, Athens consisted of three homes, three stores, and a few other buildings facing Front Street, now known as Broad Street. Completed in 1806 and named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin College was the first permanent structure of the University of Georgia and of the city of Athens. This brick building is now known as Old College.
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