How to Pick a Veterinary Assistant Program near Lemont Illinois
Fulfilling your lifelong dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary program near Lemont IL could at first feel like a challenging endeavor. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training so that you can succeed as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing programs so that you can make the ideal selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their residences. Once they have found some local colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although cost and location are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into as well. The main idea 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 presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll discuss the varied roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Vet Assistant and Technician
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your decision might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialization interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous jobs that they can carry out within the Lemont IL veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work away from the standard veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the job functions and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a trade school or community college near Lemont IL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and generally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are included in more involved duties, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally requires four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career opportunities, increased 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 anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Lemont IL area research facilities also.
Online Veterinarian Programs
An alternative that might be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered by means of the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The curriculum 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 typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Lemont IL veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenditures, such as for travel and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school 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 included for a complete 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 right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Degree Programs
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in Illinois as well as across the USA, you should ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, for example internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to enroll in a school that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Lemont IL vet assistant and technician colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the vet assistant or technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive review process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Lemont IL vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Illinois school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations regarding your targeted schools. As a final pointer, call some Lemont IL veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech or assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the clinical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local Lemont IL vet community and assist in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or technician program may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate could signify that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, check that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may signify that the Lemont IL program has an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not well regarded 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 most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Lemont IL schools you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to attend some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from work or home, you have to make sure that the commuting 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, particularly if the Lemont IL school is located near or in a large city. Also, 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 fees especially for state and community colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you determine if the Illinois veterinary colleges you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered near Lemont IL before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss as a result of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You may discover that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask veterinary candidates is "What drove you to select veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to veterinary care, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Veterinary Technician Training Program near Lemont IL
Choosing the ideal vet assistant or tech school is a critical first step to beginning a gratifying career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering vet assistant or tech schools must make their selection based on multiple key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Lemont IL.
A Little Bit About Lemont IL
Lemont is a village located in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, and is a suburb of Chicago. The population was 16,000 as of the 2010 census. Lemont is home to Argonne National Laboratory and other heavy industrial sites.
Lemont was originally known as Keepataw (after a Potawatomi chief) and a post office was established in 1840 as Keepatau. After that, it was named Athens and then Palmyra. The name Lemont (literally, 'the mountain' in French) was chosen in 1850 at the suggestion of Lemuel Brown, the postmaster and justice of the peace, or perhaps by his brother Nathaniel Brown.
Before white settlers arrived in Lemont, Native Americans traveled the Des Plaines River in birch bark canoes on trading trips between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan. The native Potawatomi lived off the land in this area, directly using natural resources for food, shelter, clothing and medicine. In the 18th century, French voyageurs traveled down the Des Plaines River, trading Native Americans metal, beads and cloth for animal furs and changing the Native American lifestyle forever.
More Cities of Interest in Illinois