Vet Assistant College Douglas AK

How to Find the Best Veterinary Technician Program near Douglas Alaska

Douglas AK vet tech checking kittensFulfilling your long term aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Douglas AK might at first feel like a daunting endeavor. After all, you must find and enroll in a school that will deliver the necessary training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle assessing and contrasting programs so that you can make the right choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their residences. Once they have located some area schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant considerations when assessing vet technician schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet tech schools you are reviewing before you make an ultimate decision. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the various roles of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.

The Job of a Veterinary Technician

Douglas AK vet technician holding dogAmong the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you want 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 devote to your training, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are numerous functions that they can perform within the Douglas AK veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard vet 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 the majority of cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
  • Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and normally obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated functions, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. Therefore 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 work opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.

Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Douglas AK labs or research facilities also.

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Online Veterinary Technician Programs Offered

Douglas AK student attending online vet tech programAn option that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Douglas AK veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for travel and study materials, may be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician program may be the right choice for you.

Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges

Questions to ask Douglas AK vet tech schoolsBy now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Douglas AK area as well as across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are looking at.

Is the Vet College Accredited?  It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier 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 an extensive review process that verifies you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a precondition for employment for a number of Douglas AK area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the College’s Reputation?  The veterinary college or vocational school and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include checking with internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final pointer, call some Douglas AK vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even recommend some schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs established with Douglas AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most 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 practical training, but an internship may also help build associations in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Placement Offered?  Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Douglas AK veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.

How Large are the Classes?  If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Douglas AK schools you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the Campus Located?  Yes, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Douglas AK home, you have to confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And finally, it’s imperative that you determine if the veterinary schools you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Douglas AK. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies. You may find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.

Vet Assistant College Douglas Alaska

Douglas AK vet tech holding puppyPicking the right veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students looking into vet tech programs must make their decision based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online schools as well. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Vet Assistant College and wanting more information on the topic Veterinary Tech Training. However, by asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Douglas AK.

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    Douglas, Juneau

    The only traditional school left on Douglas is Gastineau Elementary, which serves all the Douglas Island elementary-aged students; the Douglas Public Library is part of the Juneau Public Library System. Douglas has a few restaurants and bars (The Island Pub, Louie's Douglas Inn, and The Douglas Café), a local live theater (Perseverance Theater), and a gas station. The town’s population has dropped over the years but recently is up to about 3,000 people, or close to ten percent of the City and Borough of Juneau’s population. Douglas gets its water and electricity from Juneau and has a mix of onsite and municipal (diverted to Juneau) wastewater treatment.

    Douglas Island was originally a border of the Auke people’s and Taku people’s territory. It was not usually used for year-round settlement, but rather as a place to spend the summer, or at times a place for battles.

    In 1880 gold was discovered in Juneau, Alaska, across the narrow Gastineau Channel, drawing in all kinds of people looking to strike it rich. In 1881 two towns sprouted up on Douglas Island: Treadwell and Douglas. Treadwell was the community for the miners, with its own entertainment, pool, and bar. Douglas, too, had businesses popping up and soon had its own school and post office. A railroad and boardwalk connected the two towns. At this time the Treadwell power plant was large enough to power the entire Treadwell area, Douglas, and Juneau. The power plant continued to serve the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine until the mine was shut down in 1944 by the War Department as non-essential to the war effort.

     

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