How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant College near Ellenwood Georgia
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet school near Ellenwood GA might initially feel like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a school that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing colleges so that you can make the right selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. When they have found some area colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are significant considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only significant 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 need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make a final selection. We have provided several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various duties of vet assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Job of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you want to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are many functions that they can carry out within the Ellenwood GA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Ellenwood GA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complex activities, for example assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and generally earn a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more involved duties, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary technicians and for the most part carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. So 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 career options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Ellenwood GA area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian Programs
An alternative that might be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Ellenwood GA 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, for example for traveling and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just confirm that the program that you enroll in 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 comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Training Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you would like to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Georgia as well as across the USA, you should ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Ellenwood GA vet assistant and tech programs that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary assistant or tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of 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 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 available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Ellenwood GA vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Georgia school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Ellenwood GA veterinarians that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local Ellenwood GA vet community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant program 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 considering. A low rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the Ellenwood GA school has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean 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 sized, you may get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Request from the Ellenwood GA programs you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Okay, we previously covered location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet technician classes from home or work, you need 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 commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Ellenwood GA school is located near or in 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 higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the Georgia veterinarian colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some may only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you require are offered near Ellenwood GA prior to enrolling. Also, 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 best way to fit your vet education into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Veterinary Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Veterinary Technician College near Ellenwood GA
Choosing the ideal veterinary technician school is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Future students thinking about vet assistant or tech schools must make their determination based on several key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. 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 choice. And by selecting the ideal program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Ellenwood GA.
A Little Bit About Ellenwood GA
Ellenwood is an unincorporated community in Clayton, Henry, Rockdale County and DeKalb counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The community is a southeast suburb of Atlanta and is located along Interstate 675. Ellenwood has a post office with ZIP code 30294.
The Atlanta Federal Records Center of the National Archives is in Ellenwood.
MARTA serves the suburb.
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