How to Enroll In a Vet Tech School near Great Lakes Illinois
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet program near Great Lakes IL could at first seem like an overwhelming task. After all, you have 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 schools so that you can make the proper choice? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. When they have located some area colleges, they determine 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 not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the different duties of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Function of a Vet Technician and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main determiner will most likely be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of functions that they can carry out within the Great Lakes IL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the conventional vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Great Lakes IL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and typically obtain a two 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 general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are included in more complicated functions, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and for the most part carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years. So the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Great Lakes IL area research facilities as well.
Vet Online Degree Programs
An approach that might make sense for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered over the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Great Lakes IL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for travel and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just make sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary tech or assistant school may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Schools
By now you should have determined which veterinary certificate or degree that you wish to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Illinois as well as across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And of course you need to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Great Lakes IL vet assistant and tech schools that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s essential that you verify that the veterinary assistant or tech program you enroll in 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 undergone an extensive review process that ensures you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Great Lakes IL vet practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Illinois school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Great Lakes IL veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help develop relationships in the local Great Lakes IL veterinarian community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate could mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might indicate that the Great Lakes IL college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify 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 in size, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Great Lakes IL schools you are looking at what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet technician classes from work or home, you need to make certain that the driving 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 Great Lakes IL school is located near or in a large city. Also, if you do decide to enroll in a school 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 classes online could be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you find out if the Illinois vet programs you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some may only be able to go to classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available near Great Lakes IL prior to enrolling. Also, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family responsibilities. You might find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Tech?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a vet tech, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Veterinary Technician School near Great Lakes IL
Picking the ideal veterinary assistant or tech school is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career providing treatment and care for animals. Students thinking about veterinary tech or assistant programs need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included 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 right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Great Lakes IL.
A Little Bit About Great Lakes IL
Naval Station Great Lakes
Naval Station Great Lakes (NAVSTA Great Lakes) is the home of the United States Navy's only boot camp, located near North Chicago, in Lake County, Illinois. Important tenant commands include the Recruit Training Command, Training Support Center and Navy Recruiting District Chicago. Naval Station Great Lakes is the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training station in the Navy. The base has 1,153 buildings situated on 1,628 acres (6.59 km2) and has 50 miles (80 km) of roadway to provide access to the base's facilities. Within the naval service, it has several different nicknames, including "The Quarterdeck of the Navy", or the more derogatory "Great Mistakes".
One of the landmarks of the area is Building 1, also known as the clocktower building. Completed in 1911, the building is made of red brick, and has a tower over the third floor of the building. The large parade ground in front of the administration building is named Ross Field.
In 1996, RTC Great Lakes became the Navy's only basic training facility. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission of 1993 resulted in the closure of Naval Training Center San Diego, California and Naval Training Center Orlando, Florida, their associated Recruit Training Commands, and the consolidation of US Navy enlisted recruit training to Great Lakes. Approximately 40,000 recruits pass through Recruit Training Command annually with an estimated 7,000 recruits on board the installation at any time. RTC Great Lakes has been active for over 100 years.
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