How to Pick a Vet Assistant School near Arlington Heights Illinois
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet school near Arlington Heights IL may initially seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you have to find and enroll in a program that will provide the necessary training so that you can be successful as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach evaluating and contrasting schools so that you can make the right selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for schools that are near their homes. When they have identified some local colleges, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate choice. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the various duties of vet techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Function of a Veterinary Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the principal factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they each work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can carry out within the Arlington Heights IL veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a formal 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 Arlington Heights IL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more complicated undertakings, for instance assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared with assistants and generally obtain a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved duties, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes four years. 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 career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required 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 urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Arlington Heights IL area research facilities also.
Veterinary Online Degree Programs
An alternative that might be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Arlington Heights IL veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet technician or assistant program may be the perfect option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Schools
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary certificate or degree that you want to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Illinois as well as across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Arlington Heights IL veterinary technician and assistant colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the vet technician or assistant program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Arlington Heights IL veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Illinois school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final pointer, phone some Arlington Heights IL veterinarians that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet assistant or technician is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require practical training and many furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local Arlington Heights IL vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician program may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. First, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are considering. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the Arlington Heights IL college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Arlington Heights IL colleges you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet technician classes from work or home, you must make certain that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Arlington Heights IL school is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s essential that you ascertain if the Illinois veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to attend classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available near Arlington Heights IL prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies. You might discover that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Why Did You Want to Be a Vet Tech?When preparing to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask veterinary prospects is "What drove you to decide on veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a veterinary technician, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Best Veterinary Technician Degree Program near Arlington Heights IL
Enrolling in the ideal vet technician program is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Students looking into vet tech or assistant schools need to make their determination based on several key issues. Veterinary 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 animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Arlington Heights IL.
A Little Bit About Arlington Heights IL
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Arlington Heights is a village in Cook County in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it lies about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of the city's downtown. The population was 75,101 at the 2010 census. It is the most populous community in the United States that is incorporated as a "village", although it is not far ahead of its nearby Illinois neighboring villages of Schaumburg and Bolingbrook and adjacent Palatine.
Arlington Heights is known for Arlington Park Race Track, home of the Arlington Million, a Breeders' Cup qualifying event; it also hosted the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2002. The village is also home to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, which has one of the largest collections in the state.
Arlington Heights lies mostly in the western part of Wheeling Township, with territory in adjacent Elk Grove and Palatine townships, in an area originally notable for the absence of groves and trees. The General Land Office began selling land here in 1835. In 1853, William Dunton, originally from Oswego, New York, persuaded the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad to make a stop here, and laid out a town called Dunton. Dunton Avenue, named after William Dunton, is the village's base line that splits addresses east and west, with Campbell Street splitting north and south.
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