How to Select a Veterinary Assistant Training near Boise Idaho
Realizing your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Boise ID could at first seem like a daunting task. After all, you must find and enroll in a college that will provide the necessary training so that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about analyzing and comparing schools so that you can make the ideal choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are near their homes. Once they have found some area colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be considered also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the varied responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the main determiner 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 direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can perform within the Boise ID veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the conventional vet practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Boise ID. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared with assistants and normally acquire a 2 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 vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for instance assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Boise ID area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Degree Programs
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Boise ID veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, such as for travel and study materials, may be lower compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just be sure 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 furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online veterinary technician or assistant school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Schools
At this point you should have determined which veterinary certificate or degree that you would like to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Idaho as well as across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many future students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other important qualifiers, which include accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Boise ID veterinary technician and assistant colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the veterinary tech or assistant program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As previously discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous review process that ensures you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for a number of Boise ID vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinarian trade school or college and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Idaho school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Boise ID vet clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest some colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to get clinical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical setting. Ask if the schools you are looking at have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local Boise ID veterinarian community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate could indicate that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the Boise ID school has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Boise ID programs you are looking at what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Of course, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet technician classes from work or home, you need to confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the Boise ID school is located near or in a large city. In addition, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s essential that you determine if the Idaho veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available near Boise ID before enrolling. Also, find out 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 best way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Assistant?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Select the Right Veterinary Tech School near Boise ID
Choosing the appropriate veterinary technician program is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students considering vet tech or assistant programs must make their selection based on several key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet technician, assistant or technologist in Boise ID.
A Little Bit About Boise ID
Boise (/bɔɪsi/ ( listen)) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River in southwestern Idaho, the population of Boise at the 2010 Census was 205,671, the 99th largest in the nation. Its estimated population in 2016 was 223,154.
The Boise-Nampa metropolitan area, also known as the Treasure Valley, includes five counties with a combined population of 664,422, the most populous metropolitan area in Idaho. It contains the state's three largest cities; Boise, Nampa, and Meridian. Boise is the third most populous metropolitan area and city in the United States' Pacific Northwest region, behind Seattle and Portland.
Accounts differ regarding the origin of the name. One account credits Capt. B.L.E. Bonneville of the U.S. Army as its source. After trekking for weeks through dry and rough terrain, his exploration party reached an overlook with a view of the Boise River Valley. The place where they stood is called Bonneville Point, located on the Oregon Trail east of the city. According to the story, a French-speaking guide, overwhelmed by the sight of the verdant river, yelled "Les bois! Les bois!" ("The wood! The wood!")—and the name stuck.
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