How to Select a Veterinary Technician College near Oak Lawn Illinois
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Oak Lawn IL may initially seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a program that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you tackle reviewing and comparing colleges so that you can make the right selection? Many future students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. Once they have found some nearby colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although expense and location are important factors when evaluating 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 main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary tech programs you are evaluating before you make a final choice. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the varied responsibilities of veterinary techs and assistants and the training options available.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Technician and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the principal factor will undoubtedly 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 licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are numerous tasks that they can carry out within the Oak Lawn IL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training requirements for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school near Oak Lawn 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 involved tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get 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 sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complex duties, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to veterinary techs and essentially carry out the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. 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 also required to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Oak Lawn IL area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Programs
An option that might be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using multiple venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at an area Oak Lawn IL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, for example for travel and study supplies, may 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 practical training, everything is provided for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Technologist Degree Programs
By now you probably have decided on which veterinarian credential that you would like to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Illinois and across the USA, you should ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and tuition expense. But we have already mentioned other significant qualifiers, such as accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you need to choose a program that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Oak Lawn IL vet assistant and tech schools that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary Program Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet tech or assistant program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous review process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. And finally, having a degree or certificate from an accredited program is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Oak Lawn IL veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or vocational school and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the colleges you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Illinois school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Oak Lawn IL vet clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think about your school choices. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best approach to get practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs set up with regional veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship may also help build connections in the local Oak Lawn IL veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary tech or assistant college may be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A low rate could suggest that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might signify that the Oak Lawn IL school has an outstanding reputation within the veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Oak Lawn IL programs you are considering what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and determine 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 going to drive to your vet assistant classes from work or home, you need to make certain that the driving time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Oak Lawn IL campus is located in or close by a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend 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. Of course taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s important that you determine if the Illinois veterinary programs 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 in the evenings. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you need are available near Oak Lawn IL before enrolling. Also, find out 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 best solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Veterinary Assistant?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask veterinary candidates is "What compelled you to select veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a vet assistant, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding vet tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Veterinary Assistant Training Program near Oak Lawn IL
Choosing the appropriate veterinary technician program is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career providing treatment and care for animals. Future students looking into veterinary tech or assistant schools need to make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary techs, assistants and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for vet tech online colleges 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 picking the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Oak Lawn IL.
A Little Bit About Oak Lawn IL
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Oak Lawn is located at the 41°42′54″N 87°45′12″W / 41.71500°N 87.75333°W / 41.71500; -87.75333 (41.715082, -87.753401). According to the 2010 census, Oak Lawn has a total area of 8.59 square miles (22.25 km2), all land.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 55,245 people, 22,220 households, and 14,554 families residing in the village. The population density was 6,427.3 people per square mile (2,480.3/km²). There were 22,846 housing units at an average density of 2,657.9 per square mile (1,025.7/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.35% White, 1.22% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.64% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.33% of the population, including 4.3% of Mexican descent.
The top five ancestries reported in Oak Lawn as of the 2000 census were Irish (30.4%), German (19.5%), Polish (19.3%), Italian (9.7%) and English (4.4%). One of the town's streets pays tribute to its Polish American heritage through its name of Deblin Lane after Dęblin, Poland.
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