How to Find the Best Vet Tech Training near Fort Wainwright Alaska
Realizing your long term dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech program near Fort Wainwright AK could at first seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you go about assessing and contrasting schools so that you can make the best choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. After they have located some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important considerations when assessing veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into as well. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the vet tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the various duties of vet techs and the training options offered.
The Role of a Veterinary Technician
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are a number of functions that they can carry out within the Fort Wainwright AK veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a structured 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. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training in contrast to assistants and typically earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years. So the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Fort Wainwright AK laboratories or research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Technician Programs Offered
An approach that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can study 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 most vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Fort Wainwright AK veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, such as for travel and study materials, can be lower compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician program may be the perfect choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you probably have determined which veterinary degree that you would like to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Fort Wainwright AK area and across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you need to select a college that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet tech school you select 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 undergone a thorough review process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is often a precondition for employment for a number of Fort Wainwright AK area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the vet field. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, call some Fort Wainwright AK veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs arranged with Fort Wainwright AK veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish relationships in the local vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be challenging 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 could indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Fort Wainwright AK veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Fort Wainwright AK colleges you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Fort Wainwright AK home, you have to make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you determine if the veterinary schools you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Fort Wainwright AK. 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 offered before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family issues. You may find that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Veterinary Technology Programs Fort Wainwright Alaska
Selecting the appropriate vet tech college is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students thinking about veterinary technician schools need to make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you enroll in 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. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Veterinary Technology Programs and wanting more information on the topic Veterinary Technology Online Programs. However, by asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Fort Wainwright AK.
More Pet Friendly Locations in Alaska
Fort Wainwright is a United States Army post adjacent to Fairbanks in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. Since 1978 Fort Wainwright has been investigating and cleaning up soil and water contamination from a landfill and drum burial site, fuel terminal, coal storage yard/fire training pits, open detonation area and underground storage tanks. It was Superfund-listed in 1990.
Ft. Wainwright was first established in 1939 as the U.S. Army Air Corps Ladd Field. In 1947 it was transferred to the newly established U.S. Air Force and renamed Ladd AFB, serving as a cold weather station to test aircraft under arctic conditions. In 1961 it was transferred to the Army and redesignated Fort Wainwright in honor of World War II general Jonathan Wainwright. From 1963 to 1972 it was home to the 171st Infantry Brigade, mechanized until 1969, then light. During that time, the 172nd Infantry Brigade was at Fort Richardson, in Anchorage. From 1986 to 1998 Fort Wainwright was the home of the 6th Infantry Division (Light), and served as the division's headquarters from 1990 to 1994. From 1998 to 2006, it was home to the 172nd Infantry Brigade, which was reorganized in 2003 as the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), part of the U.S. Army's transition program to include six SBCTs. In 2006, the 172nd was re-flagged as the 1st brigade of the 25th Infantry Division. Fort Wainwright was also the home of Task Force 49, an aviation brigade that provides logistical air support for U.S. Army Alaska which later transformed to become a part of 16th Combat Aviation Brigade with headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA in 2010 with duty in Alaska.
Since 1978 Fort Wainwright has been participating in the Department of Defense Installation Restoration Program to investigate and clean up contamination. In 1985 and 1986, lead and chromium were detected in monitoring wells at the landfill; in 1987, chromium and tetrahydrofuran were detected in monitoring wells at the proposed housing area, and chromium was detected in soil. About 15,000 people live and work at the fort and obtain drinking water from wells in close proximity to contaminated source areas. The Chena River also runs through the contaminated area of Fort Wainwright.
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