How to Select the Right Vet Technician School near Old Harbor Alaska
Fulfilling your long term goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Old Harbor AK may initially feel like a challenging task. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are near their homes. Once they have found some local schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important factors when assessing vet technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician programs you are considering before you make a final decision. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll go over the different duties of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Veterinary Technician
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary determiner will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants share in common is that they each work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Old Harbor AK veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and normally earn a 2 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 basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years. So the only real distinction 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, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Old Harbor AK labs or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Programs Offered
An approach that may make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Old Harbor AK veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for instance for travel and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make certain that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online veterinary technician school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Old Harbor AK area and across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the vet tech program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous 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 many programs are not available for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is frequently a requirement for employment for many Old Harbor AK area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, call some Old Harbor AK veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best approach to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are considering have internship programs set up with Old Harbor AK veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help establish associations in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate may indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the college has an outstanding reputation within the Old Harbor AK veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify 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 larger sized, you most likely will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Old Harbor AK schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Old Harbor AK home, you must make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the veterinarian schools you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Old Harbor AK. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family issues. You might discover that an online school is the best way to fit your vet education into your busy life.
Vet Tech Bachelor Degree Schools Old Harbor Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal vet tech college is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary technician colleges need to make their determination based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you pick 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. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Vet Tech Bachelor Degree Schools and wanting more information on the topic Veterinary Assistant Training Online. However, by asking the questions included in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the ideal school, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Old Harbor AK.
More Pet Friendly Locations in Alaska
Old Harbor, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.5 square miles (68.7 km2), of which 20.5 square miles (53.2 km2) is land and 6.0 square miles (15.5 km2), or 22.59%, is water.
The community of Old Harbor has its origins in the era of Russian conquest. On August 14, 1784, Grigory Shelikhov with 130 Russian fur traders massacred (see Awa'uq Massacre) several hundred Qik’rtarmiut Sugpiat tribe of Alutiiq men, women and children at Refuge Rock, a tiny stack island off the eastern coast of Sitkalidak Island. In Alutiiq, this sacred place is known as Awa'uq ("to become numb").
Old Harbor first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village with 160 residents: 155 Inuit and 5 Creole (Mixed Russian and Native). It returned with 86 residents in 1890, all Native. It did not return again until 1920. It formally incorporated in 1966.