How to Select the Right Veterinary Technician Program near Montevallo Alabama
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Montevallo AL may at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a school that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you go about analyzing and comparing programs so that you can make the correct selection? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their homes. After they have identified some local colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant factors when evaluating vet technician schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech schools you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the varied duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Function of a Veterinary Technician
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are many functions that they can perform within the Montevallo AL veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and normally obtain 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 general job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Montevallo AL labs or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Programs Offered
An approach that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Montevallo AL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for travel and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet tech school may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you would like to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Montevallo AL area and across the Country, you should ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have already pointed out other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that confirms you will receive a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for a number of Montevallo AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some Montevallo AL veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs established with Montevallo AL veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate might indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied 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 signify that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Montevallo AL vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Montevallo AL colleges you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Montevallo AL home, you need to make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do choose to attend 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. On the other hand, attending classes online could 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 important that you determine if the veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Montevallo AL. Some might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Veterinary Technician Universities Montevallo Alabama
Enrolling in the appropriate vet tech college is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students considering vet tech schools need to make their determination based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Veterinary Technician Universities and wanting more information on the topic Accredited Vet Tech Schools. However, by asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the best college, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Montevallo AL.
More Pet Friendly Locations in Alabama
Montevallo is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. A college town, it is the home of the University of Montevallo, a public liberal arts university with approximately 3,000 students. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city of Montevallo is 6,323. Dr. Hollie Campbell Cost, a professor in the College of Education at the University of Montevallo, serves as Mayor.
Montevallo is located at 33°6′18″N 86°51′46″W / 33.10500°N 86.86278°W / 33.10500; -86.86278 (33.1049, -86.8628). A plaque on Reynolds Cemetery Road, just off Alabama State Route 25, in the eastern corner of the town, marks the geographic center of the state of Alabama. Middle Street, formerly known as Main Street, had its name changed in 1899 for this reason, upon the completion of a new state survey.
The area where Montevallo is now was once controlled by the Creek Indians. After being acquired in 1814 Jesse Wilson claimed a small hill on the northern bank of the Shoal Creek and created a homestead there, making it the oldest settlement in Shelby County. Wilson's friends and family followed afterwards and also settled in the area, and a settlement known as Wilson's Hill developed on the site. The settlement's location at almost the exact center of Alabama meant it was considered one of the potential sites for the University of Alabama. In an attempt to encourage the university to choose the site the settlement changed its name to Montevallo, which is Italian for the hill in the valley.
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