How to Select a Vet Assistant School near Goodfield Illinois
Achieving your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinarian school near Goodfield IL could initially seem like an overwhelming undertaking. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a school that will furnish the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the best selection? Many potential students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are close to their homes. When they have found some area colleges, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important considerations when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate selection. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the different duties of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Function of a Veterinary Technician and Assistant
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your training, but the primary determiner will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Goodfield IL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college near Goodfield IL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their typical duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during exams.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved duties, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Goodfield IL area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian Training Programs
An option that might be a solution 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 attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using various venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Goodfield IL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, such as for traveling and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just make sure that the program 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 comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant manner, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Tech Degree Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you want to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Illinois and across the USA, you must ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Goodfield IL vet assistant and tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the veterinary technician or assistant college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, among the most highly respected 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 many programs are not available for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is often a prerequisite for employment for many Goodfield IL veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you select must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Illinois school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations involving your targeted schools. As a final pointer, call some Goodfield IL veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many 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 establish relationships in the local Goodfield IL veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Finding a job after graduating from a vet assistant or tech program can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Goodfield IL college has an excellent reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you most likely will get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Goodfield IL colleges you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet technician classes from work or home, you have to make sure that the commuting time fits into 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, especially if the Goodfield IL school is located near or in a large city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the Illinois vet programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to 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 need are offered near Goodfield IL before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family issues. You might discover that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask veterinary candidates is "What made you select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Vet Technologist Program near Goodfield IL
Selecting the appropriate vet assistant or tech college is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Future students looking into vet tech or assistant programs need to make their selection based on a number of key issues. Veterinary assistants, techs and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online 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 picking the best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet technician, assistant or technologist in Goodfield IL.
A Little Bit About Goodfield IL
Goodfield is a village in Tazewell and Woodford counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 860 at the 2010 census, up from 686 at the 2000 census. Goodfield is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
CNH (company) has a plant located in Goodfield that manufactures branded (Case IH, New Holland, and DMI) crop production, fertilizer and tillage equipment. Goodfield also has local businesses including Early Bird Fertilizer and Busy Corner.
According to the 2010 census, Goodfield has a total area of 1.698 square miles (4.40 km2), of which 1.69 square miles (4.38 km2) (or 99.53%) is land and 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.47%) is water.
More Cities of Interest in Illinois