How to Find the Right Vet Technician School near Talkeetna Alaska
Fulfilling your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Talkeetna AK could at first feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you approach reviewing and comparing colleges 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. When they have identified some nearby colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have furnished several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the various responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
The Job of a Veterinary Technician
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous duties that they can perform within the Talkeetna AK veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared with assistants and generally acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complex duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated 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 Talkeetna AK laboratories or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Talkeetna AK veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenses, for instance for traveling and study supplies, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified 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 mode, an online veterinary technician school may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
At this point you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Talkeetna AK area as well as across the United States, you must ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other important qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to enroll in a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, 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 an extensive screening process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for many Talkeetna AK area vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Talkeetna AK veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs established with Talkeetna AK veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. 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 dropped out. Next, check that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Talkeetna AK veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Talkeetna AK colleges you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Talkeetna AK home, you have to make sure 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 college is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s essential that you find out if the veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night near Talkeetna AK. Others may only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Veterinary Technology Bachelor Degree Online Talkeetna Alaska
Choosing the appropriate vet tech program is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Future students considering vet tech schools must make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Veterinary Technology Bachelor Degree Online and wanting more information on the topic Vet Assistant vs Vet Tech School Requirements. However, by asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the best school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Talkeetna AK.
More Pet Friendly Locations in Alaska
Talkeetna is located at 62°18′41″N 150°5′13″W / 62.31139°N 150.08694°W / 62.31139; -150.08694 (62.311397, -150.087053) at the confluence of three rivers, the Susitna, Chulitna and Talkeetna. Talkeetna began in 1916 when the area was chosen as a district headquarters for the Alaska Railroad. A post office opened as well as a sawmill, trading post, cigar and donkey store and other businesses as well as many cabins. In 1917, the residents encouraged the government to survey the lots on which their homes stood. In 1919, the railroad surveyed and auctioned eighty lots, 41 of which already had permanent structures on them. The average price at the sale was $14.25. Flightseeing, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, camping, fishing and hunting make up a large portion of the local economy. Talkeetna is a 2½-hour drive from Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. The core downtown area (Talkeetna Historic District) is on the register of National Historic Places, with buildings dating from the early 1900s including Nagley's General Store,Fairview Inn and the Talkeetna Roadhouse.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 42.9 square miles (111 km2), of which, 41.6 square miles (108 km2) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) of it (3.19%) is water.
The climate is continental subarctic (Köppen: Dfc), assuming some characteristics like warm-summer but the shorter duration of the hot season and long winters give the town boreal features and in terms of vegetation is composed of taiga (Cook Inlet Basin), different from the southcentral coastal more diversified. Even though the cold, dry air comes from the north, the moisture acquired comes from the Gulf of Alaska. That is, summers are between a short duration and an average duration. It is lighter than Yellowknife, Canada at similar latitudes due to the moderating effect of the Pacific Ocean and the adiabatic warming of the descending air from the surrounding mountains. The average annual temperature is 0.8 °C, the average rainfall is not as high but relatively well distributed during the year, about 686 mm on average.