How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant College near Lexington Georgia
Achieving your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Lexington GA could initially seem like a challenging task. After all, you need to find and enroll in a school that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the ideal selection? Many future students begin their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their residences. After they have found some area schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are important concerns when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate selection. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the various responsibilities of vet assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Job of a Vet Technician and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Lexington GA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Lexington GA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally 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 fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the main 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 options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Lexington GA area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Programs
An approach that may 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. Because the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using multiple methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Lexington GA veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, for instance for commuting and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. 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 courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you should have determined which veterinary credential that you want to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Georgia and across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the Lexington GA vet technician and assistant colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s essential that you verify that the vet assistant or tech school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier 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 thorough review process that verifies you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a requirement for employment for a number of Lexington GA vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you select must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Georgia school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Lexington GA veterinary clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive 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 best approach to get practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the colleges you are considering have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Lexington GA veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant college can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A low rate may mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could indicate that the Lexington GA college has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Lexington GA colleges you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to drive to your veterinary technician classes from home or work, you need to confirm 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 drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Lexington GA college is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s imperative that you determine if the Georgia vet programs you are exploring 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. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered near Lexington GA prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Veterinary Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to pick veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Right Veterinary Tech Training Program near Lexington GA
Selecting the right vet technician school is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students thinking about veterinary assistant or tech schools need to make their decision based on several key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Lexington GA.
A Little Bit About Lexington GA
The city of Lexington is the county seat of Oglethorpe County, Georgia, United States. The population was 239 at the 2000 census.
Lexington is home to Shaking Rock Park.
Lexington was founded in 1800. That same year, the seat of Oglethorpe County was transferred to Lexington from Philomath. Lexington was incorporated as a town in 1806, and is named for Lexington, Massachusetts.
More Cities of Interest in Georgia