How to Choose a Vet Tech College near Lihue Hawaii
Achieving your long term goal of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Lihue HI may at first seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will furnish the proper training so that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you tackle assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the ideal selection? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are near their homes. Once they have located some area colleges, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final choice. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the varied responsibilities of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Job of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal determiner will most likely 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 practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can perform within the Lihue HI veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the standard vet practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Lihue HI. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated undertakings, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more extensive training compared with assistants and usually earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated functions, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years to complete. 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 job options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or emergency care. Some may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Lihue HI area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Training Classes
An option that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Lihue HI veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. 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 veterinary tech or assistant school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Training Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Hawaii as well as across the Country, you should ask some qualifying questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are covered in the list of questions that you need to ask the Lihue HI veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you make sure that the veterinary tech or assistant school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough screening 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 a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a requirement for employment for a number of Lihue HI veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Hawaii school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, get in touch with some Lihue HI vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs set up with area veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local Lihue HI veterinarian community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Lihue HI school has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may mean that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you probably will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Lihue HI schools you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech 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 drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Lihue HI college is located in or close by a larger city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you find out if the Hawaii veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are offered near Lihue HI prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies. You may find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your vet education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Vet Technician?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What made you decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a vet assistant, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Vet Tech College near Lihue HI
Choosing the ideal veterinary technician school is a crucial first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for animals. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech programs must make their selection based on multiple key factors. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you choose 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 narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the ideal school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet technician, assistant or technologist in Lihue HI.
A Little Bit About Lihue HI
Lihue or Līhuʻe is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) and the county seat of Kauai County, Hawaii. Lihue (pronounced [liːˈhuʔe]) is the second largest town on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi after Kapaʻa. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP had a total population of 6,455.
In ancient times, Lihue was a minor village. Līhuʻe means "cold chill" in the Hawaiian language. Lihue is located in the ancient district of Puna, the southeastern coast of the island, and land division (ahupuaʻa) of Kalapaki.Royal Governor Kaikioʻewa officially made it his governing seat in 1837, moving it from Waimea; he gave the town its name after the land he owned on Oahu by the same name.
With the emergence of the sugar industry in the 1800s, Lihue became the central city of the island with the construction of a large sugar mill. Early investors were Henry A. Peirce, Charles Reed Bishop and William Little Lee. The plantation struggled until William Harrison Rice built the first irrigation system in 1856.
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