How to Select a Veterinary Assistant College near Joliet Illinois
Realizing your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a vet program near Joliet IL may initially seem like a challenging endeavor. After all, you need to find and enroll in a program that will furnish the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing programs so that you can make the proper choice? Many aspiring students begin their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. Once they have located some local colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only significant ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into as well. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have presented several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the varied responsibilities of vet assistants and techs and the training options available.
The Role of a Vet Assistant and Tech
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can perform within the Joliet IL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or conduct surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the standard veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Joliet IL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Normally they are not involved with more complex activities, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular responsibilities may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and typically obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or administering medicine. All states currently mandate that veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and basically carry out the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires 4 years to complete. So the main distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Joliet IL area research facilities also.
Vet Online Colleges
An approach that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided through the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Joliet IL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, for instance for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just be sure that the online school that you enroll in 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 dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet tech or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Colleges
By now you probably have determined which veterinary credential that you wish to obtain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Illinois and across the United States, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the list of questions that you should ask the Joliet IL vet assistant and tech schools that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s important that you confirm that the vet assistant or tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. 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 demanding review process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of Joliet IL vet practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The vet vocational school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Illinois school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Joliet IL vet clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school selections. They might even suggest one or more schools not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop associations in the local Joliet IL vet community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician or assistant college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate may indicate that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the Joliet IL college has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Joliet IL schools you are considering what their classroom student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary assistant classes from home or work, you have to confirm that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Joliet IL campus is located in or close by a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to enroll in a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for state and community colleges. Of course attending online classes could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s essential that you ascertain if the Illinois veterinarian programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available near Joliet IL prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to work, sickness or family responsibilities. You may find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your vet training into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask veterinary prospects is "What compelled you to decide on veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a vet assistant, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Vet Technologist School near Joliet IL
Selecting the appropriate veterinary technician program is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech programs must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist in Joliet IL.
A Little Bit About Joliet IL
Joliet (/ˈdʒoʊli.ɛt/ or /dʒoʊliˈɛt/) is a city in Kendall and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Chicago. It is the county seat of Will County. At the 2010 census, the city was the fourth largest in Illinois, with a population of 147,433. A special census in 2016 put Joliet's population at 149,395, making it the 3rd largest city in Illinois.
In 1673, Louis Jolliet, along with Father Jacques Marquette, paddled up the Des Plaines River and camped on a huge mound, a few miles south of present-day Joliet. Maps from Jolliet's exploration of the area, placed a large hill or mound on what is now the southwest corner of the city, since there is no point that is farther southwest. That hill was named Mound Jolliet. The spot was mined by early settlers and is now a depression.
In 1833, following the Black Hawk War, Charles Reed built a cabin along the west side of the Des Plaines River. Across the river in 1834, James B. Campbell, treasurer of the canal commissioners, laid out the village of "Juliet", named after his daughter. Just before the economic depression of 1837, Juliet incorporated as a village, but to cut tax expenses, Juliet residents soon petitioned the state to rescind that incorporation. In 1845, local residents changed the community's name from "Juliet" to "Joliet". Joliet was reincorporated as a city in 1852. Cornelius Cohenhoven Van Horne was active in getting the city its first charter, and because of this he was elected Joliet's first Mayor. When the city later built a new bridge it was named The Van Horne Bridge.
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