How to Select a Vet Tech School near Lincolnwood Illinois
Achieving your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a vet college near Lincolnwood IL could initially seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a college that will deliver the necessary training so that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting programs so that you can make the ideal choice? Many potential students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. After they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the cheapest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are significant factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs need to be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are looking at before you make a final selection. We have provided several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll talk about the various responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Vet Technician and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the primary factor will probably be which specialty appeals to you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many functions that they can perform within the Lincolnwood IL veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide support to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for example for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Lincolnwood IL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared with assistants and generally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complex tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states presently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, increased salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can 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 laboratories or Lincolnwood IL area research facilities as well.
Veterinary Online Colleges
An approach that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are offered through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum 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 part can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at an area Lincolnwood IL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for example for traveling and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm 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 practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician or assistant school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Schools
At this point you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you wish to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in Illinois and across the Country, you must ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to select a program that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the Lincolnwood IL veterinary assistant and tech programs that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s essential that you make sure that the vet assistant or technician school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously stated, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a demanding screening process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is often a precondition for employment for a number of Lincolnwood IL vet clinics and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The vet college or trade school and program you select should have an outstanding reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating 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 concerning your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Lincolnwood IL veterinarians that you may want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective way to obtain practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional environment. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with area veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial as far as the practical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Lincolnwood IL veterinarian community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant school can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are evaluating. A lower rate may suggest that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the Lincolnwood IL program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may signify that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Lincolnwood IL colleges you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of 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 teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary assistant classes from home or work, you have to make certain 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 drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Lincolnwood IL campus is located in or near a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it’s important that you determine if the Illinois veterinary programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working 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. Verify that the class times you require are offered near Lincolnwood IL prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, sickness or family issues. You may find that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your vet training into your hectic life.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Vet Technician?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask veterinary applicants is "What made you choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a vet tech, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Vet Tech Training Program near Lincolnwood IL
Choosing the appropriate veterinary assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to beginning a rewarding career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students considering vet tech or assistant colleges must make their selection based on a number of key issues. Vet techs, assistants and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Lincolnwood IL.
A Little Bit About Lincolnwood IL
The Purple Hotel, located at the corner of Lincoln and Touhy avenues, has a place in local lore. The hotel was built in 1960 by the Hyatt Corp. and was originally called the Lincolnwood Hyatt House. Well-known Chicago pianist Myles Greene, who now performs at Tuscany's in Oak Brook, was the first performer to open in the hotel 40 years ago. In 1983, convicted mobster- insurance executive Allen Dorfman was gunned down in the hotel parking lot. The murder has never been solved. The hotel changed hands numerous times after the infamous crime, first becoming a Radisson, and then a Ramada. But vaguely criminal associations have nonetheless persisted, especially after prominent reports of "wild", "drug-fueled" parties taking place in 2004 in connection with allegations of political fixing. Since 2004, it has been independent, simply calling itself by the name locals have used for years: the "Purple Hotel." The name came about because of the building's distinctive purple facade, somewhat radical for earth-toned suburbia. In 2006, the Village sued the owners of the Purple Hotel because of health and safety code violations such as mold in guest rooms. In January 2007, it was announced the hotel was to be closed, with future plans unknown. In May 2007, Chicago-based Sertus Capital Partners entered into a conditional contract to purchase the 8-acre (32,000 m2) hotel property, with plans to demolish the famed hotel and build residential and retail space. However, Sertus called off its proposed purchase of the Touhy Avenue property from the current owner Donald Bae in August 2007. The plans were scrapped due to the high cost that owners asked for the property and problems with an extended lease of one of the tenants on the property. In 2010, the Village again brought court action to either remedy more than three dozen building code violations, or demolish the building. In February 2011, the Village was granted authority to condemn and demolish the Purple Hotel at the owner's expense. In late 2011, Weiss Properties and North Capital Group bought the hotel's mortgage note with intentions to restore the hotel with additional amenities. However, the hotel was demolished in August 2013.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,359 people, 4,482 households, and 3,446 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,599.7 people per square mile (1,773.9/km²). There were 4,593 housing units at an average density of 1,709.4 per square mile (659.2/km²). The racial makeup of the village in 2010 was 69.3% White, 1.1% African American, 29.1% Asian, 1.23% from other races, and 0.2% identified as Other.Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7% of the population.
There were 4,482 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.2% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.1% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.22.
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