How to Find the Right Vet Tech School near Plainfield Illinois
Achieving your long term aspiration of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Plainfield IL might initially seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you must locate and enroll in a program that will deliver the proper training so that you can succeed as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best choice? Many future students start their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have located some area schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and expense are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation should 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 selection. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the varied responsibilities of veterinary assistants and techs and the training options offered.
The Role of a Veterinary Assistant and Technician
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of tasks that they can perform within the Plainfield IL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have completed 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 Plainfield IL. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complicated activities, such as assisting with surgical procedures. A few of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more advanced training compared with assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more involved tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medicine. All states presently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and essentially perform the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years. Therefore the only real difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can 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 Plainfield IL area research facilities as well.
Online Vet Programs
An option that may make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while attending veterinarian college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available over the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be carried out as an internship or work study program at an area Plainfield IL veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for instance for travel and study materials, can be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just confirm that the online school that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician or assistant program may be the perfect choice for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Assistant and Tech Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Illinois as well as across the Country, you must ask some relevant questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And of course you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Plainfield IL vet assistant and technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you make sure that the vet assistant or tech program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier stated, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Plainfield IL veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinary trade school or college and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school ranking websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Illinois school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions relating to your specific schools. As a final pointer, get in touch with some Plainfield IL vet clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some colleges not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to obtain practical hands on training as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs established with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the clinical training, but an internship may also help develop connections in the local Plainfield IL vet community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary assistant or tech program can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A low rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may indicate that the Plainfield IL program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate might signify that the training is not highly regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger sized, you may receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Plainfield IL schools you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between teachers and students. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the School Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from home or work, you have to make certain that the commuting time fits into 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 Plainfield IL school is located in or near a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition charges especially for community and state colleges. Of course attending classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you ascertain if the Illinois veterinary colleges you are considering offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or at night. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are available near Plainfield IL before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Why Did You Want to Become a Vet Tech?When prepping to interview for a veterinary position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What made you choose veterinary care as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a vet assistant, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to veterinary care, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional vet tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Select the Right Veterinary Assistant School near Plainfield IL
Selecting the right veterinary technician program is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for animals. Students looking into vet tech or assistant colleges need to make their determination based on multiple key factors. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by choosing the best college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary assistant, tech or technologist in Plainfield IL.
A Little Bit About Plainfield IL
Plainfield is a village in Will County, Illinois, United States. The US Census Bureau estimates the population at 41,734 as of 2013.
The village includes land in Plainfield and Wheatland townships. Part of Plainfield is located in Kendall County (Na-Au-Say and Oswego townships). With the growth in the Chicago suburbs in the 1990s and 2000s, the village has seen a population increase, from 4,500 in 1990 to 28,000 in 2000 to more than 37,000 in 2007.
The village has established a community Preservation Commission and historic preservation ordinance. It is the home of the Lake Renwick Preserve, a county forest preserve used for birdwatching and other activities.
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