How to Choose a Vet Tech School near Howard City Michigan
Realizing your long term dream of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary college near Howard City MI might initially feel like a challenging task. After all, you have to locate and enroll in a program that will furnish the proper training so that you can succeed as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing colleges so that you can make the ideal selection? Many potential students begin their due diligence process by searching for campuses that are near their homes. After they have located some local schools, they ascertain which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important concerns when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as internship programs and accreditation should be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have presented several within this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the various duties of vet assistants and techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Job of a Vet Tech and Assistant
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is whether you wish to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the main 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 immediate supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are many tasks that they can carry out within the Howard City MI veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or conduct surgical procedures. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the standard veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Howard City MI. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more involved activities, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more extensive training compared with assistants and typically earn a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general 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 involved activities, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states currently mandate that vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and basically perform the same job functions. They are required to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes 4 years to complete. Therefore the only real distinction between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in laboratories or Howard City MI area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Colleges
An option that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinary 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 educational program is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Howard City MI veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in many instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for example for travel and study materials, may be lower compared to more standard classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online vet technician or assistant school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Vet Assistant and Technologist Colleges
By now you should have decided on which veterinarian credential that you want to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in Michigan as well as across the Country, you should ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you want to select a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you should ask the Howard City MI veterinary assistant and technician colleges that you are considering.
Is the Veterinary School Accredited? It’s imperative that you confirm that the veterinary tech or assistant school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough screening process that ensures you will get a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is often a prerequisite for employment for a number of Howard City MI veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinarian college or trade school and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are interested in for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include looking on online school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Michigan school licensing department if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final pointer, get in touch with some Howard City MI vet clinics that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They might even suggest some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective means to get practical hands on experience as a vet assistant or tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with local veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number furnish it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local Howard City MI veterinary community and help in the search for a job after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant college may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate could mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the Howard City MI program has an exceptional 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 sized, you may get little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Howard City MI colleges you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for feedback from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Okay, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your vet assistant classes from home or work, you need to make certain that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the Howard City MI campus is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do opt to attend a college 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 might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s essential that you ascertain if the Michigan vet colleges you are considering 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 at night. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you need are available near Howard City MI prior to enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies. You may discover that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your active life.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Veterinary Technician?When prepping to interview for a veterinary job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask veterinary applicants is "What drove you to choose veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a vet assistant, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to veterinary care, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting 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 along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding vet tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Pick the Best Vet Assistant Program near Howard City MI
Choosing the right vet technician school is an important first step to starting a gratifying career delivering treatment and care for pets and livestock. Students looking into veterinary tech or assistant programs need to make their determination based on several key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They typically handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the profession. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make your final choice. And by picking the right college, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet assistant, tech or technologist in Howard City MI.
A Little Bit About Howard City MI
Howard City, Michigan
Benjamin Ensley owned the land on which he, E. W. Muenscher, and Mr. Shaw began the settlement that Muenscher platted in 1868. It was named for William A. Howard, a Detroit railroad attorney. The Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad depot opened in 1869. A post office was established on January 12, 1870, with John B. Spencer as the first postmaster. It incorporated as a village in 1873. The post office name was shortened to "Howard" on February 2, 1895, but restored to Howard City on January 19, 1899.
Main street was initially constructed on Ensley Street, which was named after early settler Benjamin Ensley. In 1883, however, many of the wooden buildings on Ensley street burned down. Main Street was then shifted over to Edgerton Street, where it still stands today. The Hudson Knife factory and The Skinner and Steenman sideboard factory were two of the earliest businesses. Later, Hudson Knife Co. went through changes and became the Joslin and eventually Olsen Knife Company, which had the somewhat famous jingle, "Fatty Fatty run for your life, here comes Skinny with an Olsen Knife." Howard City schools were combined with Sand Lake schools to the south in 1962, and renamed Tri County, because students from Kent, Montcalm, and Newaygo counties all attended. The school still runs under the same moniker today.
Tri County Area Schools is the main school district in Howard City. Schools include Tri County High School, Tri County Middle School, MacNaughten Elementary, Sand Lake Elementary and Edgerton Upper Elementary. The School mascot is the Viking. Sports include football, basketball, softball, baseball, wrestling, sideline cheer, competitive cheer, golf, track and field, cross country, bowling, poms and soccer. In 2009, the varsity softball team took a District title, but fell short at regionals to Petosky. Neighboring schools include Newaygo, Grant, Morley-Stanwood, Lakeview and Cedar Springs.
More Cities of Interest in Michigan