How to Find the Right Veterinary Assistant Training near Highwood Illinois
Realizing your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary school near Highwood IL could initially feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you need to locate and enroll in a college that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and contrasting schools so that you can make the right selection? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by looking for colleges that are close to their homes. When they have located some area schools, they ascertain which ones have the cheapest tuition and focus on those. Although cost and location are significant factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. The point 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 furnished several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the different roles of veterinary assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Highwood IL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each position.
- 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 vocational school near Highwood IL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgeries. A few of their normal responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental 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 involved functions, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years. Therefore 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 career opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may acquire certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Highwood IL area research facilities as well.
Veterinarian Online Degree Programs
An option that might make sense 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 provided through the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that segment can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Highwood IL veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, such as for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom programs. Just make certain that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Programs
By now you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Illinois as well as across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And obviously you need to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Highwood IL veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the veterinary technician or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous screening process that confirms you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is frequently a prerequisite for employment for a number of Highwood IL vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The vet college or vocational school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet 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 violations involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, get in touch with some Highwood IL veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the clinical training, but an internship may also help establish connections in the local Highwood IL veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant college can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate may suggest that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the Highwood IL program has an exceptional reputation within the vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you may receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Highwood IL programs you are researching what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for feedback from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Yes, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet technician classes from work or home, you have to confirm that the driving time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Highwood IL college is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes may be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s important that you find out if the Illinois vet colleges you are exploring offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available near Highwood IL prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might find that an online college is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Vet Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What made you choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent vet tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Pick the Best Vet Technologist College near Highwood IL
Choosing the ideal vet technician program is a critical first step to starting a gratifying career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students considering veterinary tech or assistant colleges must make their decision based on a number of key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the right college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Highwood IL.
A Little Bit About Highwood IL
Originally, the land was owned by the Potawatomi until the 1833 when it was ceded to the United States through the Treaty of Chicago. The first non-Native American settled in the town in 1846. In 1851 Highwood became the headquarter location of the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad, which ran parallel to the Chicago and North Western Railway's and is now know today as Metra's Union Pacific/North line. Thomas Curley suggested the name High Woods because the land was the highest ground between Chicago and Milwaukee and was covered with trees.
In 1886 civil and labor unrest in Chicago eventually led to the Haymarket Riot. Chicago businessmen felt that having a military presence near the city would help alleviate tensions within the city and on November 8, 1887 purchased Camp Highwood. This land would come to host members of the Sixth Infantry Regiment. On February 27, 1888 Camp Highwood was officially named Fort Sheridan in honor of General Philip Sheridan for his ability to maintain order after the Chicago Fire of 1871.
Highwood provided several business and employment opportunities and following the fire, many of those who lost their home and a wave of immigrants settled into the town. Highwood can also give credit to much of their economic success to the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric Railway. However, with increased transportation it also caused a sudden rise in gambling dens and illegal "blind-pig" taverns which catered to off duty soldiers. This eventually provoked federal authorities to enact the "Highwood Quadrangle" which prohibited the sale of liquor within 1 1/8th miles of the army base.
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