How to Find the Right Veterinary Technician Program near Augusta Georgia
Fulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near Augusta GA might initially feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you can make the ideal selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. Once they have identified some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into 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 choice. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the different roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire 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 invest in your training, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are numerous functions that they can carry out within the Augusta GA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Augusta GA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and usually acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are included in more complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually requires 4 years to complete. So the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may 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 Augusta GA area research facilities also.
Online Vet Training Classes
An alternative that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available over the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Augusta GA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, such as for traveling and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the right option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Georgia and across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Augusta GA vet assistant and technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s essential that you confirm that the vet tech or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. 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 a rigorous review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous 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 many Augusta GA veterinarian practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Georgia school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, contact some Augusta GA vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best way to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the programs you are considering have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Augusta GA vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant school may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the Augusta GA college has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could signify that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure 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. Request from the Augusta GA programs you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from home or work, you need to make certain 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Augusta GA college is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online could 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 ascertain if the Georgia vet programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate 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 go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available near Augusta GA prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a veterinary technician, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Veterinary Technologist School near Augusta GA
Enrolling in the ideal vet assistant or tech school is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about vet tech or assistant programs must make their selection based on a number of key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing 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 accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Augusta GA.
A Little Bit About Augusta GA
Augusta–Richmond County US: /əˈɡʌstə/ is a consolidated city-county on the central eastern border of the U.S. state of Georgia, and located on the Savannah River, at the head of its navigable portion. It is in the Piedmont section of the state. The metro Augusta area is situated in both Georgia and South Carolina, which is divided by the Savannah River. Augusta's warm climate made it a major resort town of the Eastern United States in the early and mid-20th century.
The city was named after Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (1719–1772).
Augusta-Richmond County had a 2016 estimated population of 197,082, not counting the unconsolidated cities of Hephzibah and Blythe. Augusta is the principal city of the Augusta–Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area, which as of 2015 had an estimated population of 590,146, making it the second-largest metro area in the state after Atlanta. It is the 92nd largest MSA in the United States.
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