How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant Program near Lithia Springs Georgia
Realizing your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian program near Lithia Springs GA may at first feel like a challenging undertaking. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a school that will deliver the proper training so that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the ideal selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their homes. After they have found some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be considered as well. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate selection. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the varied roles of vet techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Function of a Vet Assistant and Technician
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you want to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main factor will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are a number of tasks that they can carry out within the Lithia Springs GA veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Lithia Springs GA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared to assistants and usually earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years. So the main distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Lithia Springs GA area research facilities also.
Vet Online Programs
An alternative that might make sense for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using various methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Lithia Springs GA veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for instance for traveling and study supplies, can be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just be sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Degree Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Georgia and across the Country, you need to ask some important questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the Lithia Springs GA veterinary technician and assistant schools that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician or assistant school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously 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 a thorough review process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a requirement for employment for many Lithia Springs GA veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school ranking 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 regarding your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Lithia Springs GA vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective way to get practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Lithia Springs GA veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate may indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the Lithia Springs GA school has an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Lithia Springs GA schools you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations 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? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from home or work, you must make certain that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Lithia Springs GA school is located in or near a larger city. In addition, if you do decide 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. Of course taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s essential that you ascertain if the Georgia veterinary colleges you are evaluating 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. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available near Lithia Springs GA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You might discover that an online college is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Veterinary Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What made you select veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Veterinary Assistant Training Program near Lithia Springs GA
Picking the ideal vet technician program is a crucial first step to beginning a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech programs need to make their decision based on multiple key factors. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative tasks and support 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 goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the right program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist in Lithia Springs GA.
A Little Bit About Lithia Springs GA
Lithia Springs, Georgia
Lithia Springs is a census-designated place and unincorporated area, formerly incorporated as a city, located in northeastern Douglas County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the community had a population of 15,491. The area is named for its historic "lithia" mineral water springs.
Incorporated in 1882, Lithia Springs was dissolved the first time in 1933. Lithia Springs became incorporated again in 1994, to be Douglas County's second completely internal municipality, but disincorporated again in 2001.
In 2001, the citizens voted (80% yea, 20% nay) on March 20 to dissolve the city charter and de-incorporate the city, transferring all assets to the county. The referendum that ended the town was part of the settlement in a lawsuit brought by city residents charging the city should be dissolved because it did not deliver enough services to justify its existence under state law. During its incorporation until 2001, the former city had five mayors.
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