How to Find the Right Veterinary Technician College near Bellevue Washington
Realizing your lifelong goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary college near Bellevue WA might initially seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a college that will furnish the appropriate training so that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the best choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their residences. When they have located some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate selection. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the different duties of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Job of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will most likely 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 licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are a number of tasks that they can carry out within the Bellevue WA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Bellevue WA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and generally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex duties, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically perform the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally 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 career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Bellevue WA area research facilities as well.
Vet Online Training Programs
An alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Bellevue WA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Colleges
By now you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Washington and across the USA, you must ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to choose a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Bellevue WA veterinary assistant and technician programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the vet technician or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough screening process that verifies you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Bellevue WA veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Washington school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your targeted schools. As a final pointer, call some Bellevue WA veterinarians that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs established with regional veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local Bellevue WA veterinary community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate could suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the Bellevue WA program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bellevue WA schools you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary tech classes from home or work, you must make certain that the commuting time is compatible with 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 Bellevue WA campus is located near or in a large city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you ascertain if the Washington veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered near Bellevue WA before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask veterinary prospects is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a veterinary technician, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Vet Technician College near Bellevue WA
Picking the right vet assistant or tech school is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant programs must make their selection based on several key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals when 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 vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Bellevue WA.
A Little Bit About Bellevue WA
Bellevue (/ˈbɛlvjuː/ BEL-vew) is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. As the third-largest city in the Seattle metropolitan area, Bellevue has variously been characterized as an edge city, a suburb, boomburb, or satellite city. The population was 141,400 in a 2016 census estimate.
Prior to 2008, downtown Bellevue underwent rapid change, with many high rise projects under construction, and was relatively unaffected by the economic downturn. The downtown area is currently the second largest city center in Washington state with 1,300 businesses, 45,000 employees and 10,200 residents. Based on per capita income, Bellevue is the 6th wealthiest of 522 communities in the state of Washington. In 2008, Bellevue was named number 1 in CNNMoney's list of the best places to live and launch a business, and in 2010 was again ranked as the 4th best place to live in America. In 2014, Bellevue was ranked as the 2nd best place to live by USA Today. More than 145 companies have been located in Bellevue. Current companies with headquarters in Bellevue include Expedia and T-Mobile.
Bellevue was settled in 1869 by William Meydenbauer and Aaron Mercer, who claimed homestead tracts several miles apart. Prior to the opening of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge in 1940, Bellevue was a rural area with little development. Although it was small, developers were pushing to change that; in the 1920s, James S. Ditty predicted that it would become a city with a population of 200,000. He envisioned plans that included the bridging of Lake Washington and an area filled with golf courses and airports. His map with these visions was published in 1928.
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