How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant Training near Norcross Georgia
Fulfilling your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary school near Norcross GA may at first feel like a challenging undertaking. After all, you have to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training so that you can be successful as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the proper selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. Once they have identified some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs should be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final selection. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the various roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous duties that they can perform within the Norcross GA veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Norcross GA. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared with assistants and generally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Norcross GA area research facilities also.
Online Veterinary Training Classes
An option that may make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Norcross GA veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, such as for travel and study materials, can be lower compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technician Training Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian certificate or degree that you want to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Georgia and across the USA, you need to ask some important questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Norcross GA veterinary assistant and tech schools that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the vet tech or assistant program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited school is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Norcross GA vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Georgia school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final pointer, get in touch with some Norcross GA veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Norcross 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 veterinary technician or assistant college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate may signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the Norcross GA college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not highly 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 personalized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Norcross GA colleges you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Ask for feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already covered location, but there are a few more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary assistant classes from home or work, 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, particularly if the Norcross GA college is located near or in a larger 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 charges particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes may be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s essential that you find out if the Georgia vet programs you are considering 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. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available near Norcross GA before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family issues. You might find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your vet education into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask veterinary prospects is "What compelled you to select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Veterinary Tech College near Norcross GA
Picking the ideal veterinary assistant or tech program is an important first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for animals. Students looking into vet assistant or tech programs need to make their decision based on multiple key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the ideal program, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Norcross GA.
A Little Bit About Norcross GA
Norcross is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 9,116, while in 2015 the estimated population was 16,634. It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan statistical area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville combined statistical area.
Named for former Atlanta Mayor Jonathan Norcross, it was chartered as a town on October 26, 1870.
The city sits along the Eastern Continental Divide. Streams to the west of the city center travel to the Chattahoochee River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico, while streams to the east flow to the Yellow River, a tributary of the Ocmulgee River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean north of Brunswick. This divide, or ridge, played a significant role in the early settlement of the area. Originally, the Creek and Cherokee people occupied this land, and the ridgeline was used as a major transportation route. Two American forts were established in the early 19th century due to the War of 1812: Fort Daniel (at Hog Mountain) and Peachtree Fort (in Atlanta). These two forts were connected by this old Indian trail which became known as the original Peachtree Road. By around 1840, this trail had evolved into a stagecoach route connecting South Carolina and Alabama through Georgia. The surrounding area became populated, and the small communities of Pinckneyville and Flint Hill prospered.
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