How to Choose a Veterinary Technician Program near Clarksville Missouri
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Clarksville MO might at first seem like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about assessing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the right choice? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their homes. When they have located some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final choice. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the different responsibilities of vet assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Role of a Veterinary Assistant and Tech
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Clarksville MO veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Clarksville MO. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex functions, for example assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Clarksville MO area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Colleges
An option that might be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Clarksville MO veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Training Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Missouri as well as across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Clarksville MO vet technician and assistant schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary assistant or tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough review process that ensures you will obtain 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 colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Clarksville MO veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Missouri school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final pointer, contact some Clarksville MO veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help build connections in the local Clarksville MO veterinarian community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician program can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the Clarksville MO college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a considerable 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 placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Clarksville MO schools you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet technician classes from work or home, you must make sure 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 drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Clarksville MO college is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s imperative that you ascertain if the Missouri veterinarian colleges you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many 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 later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered near Clarksville MO prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family responsibilities. You may find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary prospects is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Right Veterinary Tech College near Clarksville MO
Picking the right veterinary assistant or tech college is an important first step to starting a rewarding career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students looking into vet tech or assistant schools must make their selection based on multiple key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, 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 vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the ideal program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Clarksville MO.
A Little Bit About Clarksville MO
The city of Clarksville is the county seat of Montgomery County, Tennessee, United States. It is the fifth-largest city in the state behind Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. The city had a population of 132,929 at the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 150,287 in 2016.
It is the principal central city of the Clarksville, TN-KY metropolitan statistical area, which consists of Montgomery and Stewart Counties in Tennessee, and Christian and Trigg Counties in Kentucky. The city was incorporated in 1785 as Tennessee's first incorporated city, and named for General George Rogers Clark, frontier fighter and Revolutionary War hero, and brother of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Clarksville is the home of Austin Peay State University; The Leaf-Chronicle, the oldest newspaper in Tennessee; and neighbor to the Fort Campbell, United States Army base. Site of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell is located about 10 miles (16 km) from downtown Clarksville, straddling the Tennessee-Kentucky state line. It is officially Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as the base U.S. Post Office is on the Kentucky side of the post. The majority of the acreage of Fort Campbell is within the state of Tennessee.
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