How to Pick a Vet Assistant Program near Clarkston Georgia
Fulfilling your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Clarkston GA might at first seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you have to find and enroll in a program that will provide the proper training so that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper choice? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their homes. When they have located some area colleges, they determine which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make a final choice. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various responsibilities of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal factor will probably be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Clarkston GA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Clarkston GA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared to assistants and usually acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved activities, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Clarkston GA area research facilities as well.
Vet Online Schools
An approach that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available by means of the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Clarkston GA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for commuting and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. 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 self-reliant mode, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
At this point you should have decided on which veterinary certificate or degree that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Georgia and across the Country, you should ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the Clarkston GA vet assistant and tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous review process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for many Clarkston GA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Georgia school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Clarkston GA vet clinics that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local Clarkston GA veterinary community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant school can be difficult 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 lower rate could mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the Clarkston GA school has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Clarkston GA colleges you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between teachers and students. Get 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 School Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary assistant classes from work or home, you need to make sure 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 commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Clarkston GA college is located in or near a large city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you determine if the Georgia veterinarian programs you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered near Clarkston GA prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family issues. You may discover that an online college is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a vet tech, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Vet Technician Training Program near Clarkston GA
Picking the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for animals. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech colleges need to make their selection based on multiple key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech programs as well. 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 ideal college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Clarkston GA.
A Little Bit About Clarkston GA
Clarkston is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 7,554 as of the 2010 census. The city is home to a campus of Georgia State Universities Perimeter College.
The city is noted for its ethnic diversity, and is often referred to as "the most diverse square mile in America" and "the Ellis Island of the South." In the 1990s refugee resettlement programs identified Clarkston as a good fit for displaced persons of many backgrounds. The rental market was open, residents were moving farther out from the Atlanta urban core, and Clarkston was the last stop on a transit line into the city. By the 2000s the local high school had students from more than 50 countries; a local mosque had 800 worshipers; and by some estimates, half the population was from outside the U.S.
Clarkston is located at 33°48′37″N 84°14′24″W / 33.81028°N 84.24000°W / 33.81028; -84.24000 (33.810304, −84.239877).
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