How to Pick the Best Vet Technician Degree Program near Girdwood Alaska
Achieving your lifelong goal of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a vet tech program near Girdwood AK could initially feel like a challenging task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. But just how do you tackle reviewing and comparing programs so that you can make the proper choice? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their residences. When they have found some area schools, they find out which ones have the lowest tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant concerns when comparing vet technician programs, they are by no means the only important ones when making your evaluations. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be looked into also. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the vet technician 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 discuss the different duties of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
The Function of a Veterinary Technician
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is whether you desire to train as a veterinary 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 factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of duties that they can perform within the Girdwood AK veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and training prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in almost all 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 trade school. 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 undertakings, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and normally 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 basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states currently mandate that veterinary techs pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary techs and basically carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually 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 work options, increased salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Veterinary 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 Girdwood AK labs or research facilities also.
Online Vet Tech Programs Offered
An option that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to vet college is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are provided through the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using several venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Girdwood AK veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenses, for instance for travel and study materials, can be more affordable compared to more standard classroom courses. Just confirm 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 provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician program may be the ideal choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
At this point you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Girdwood AK area and across the Country, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many potential students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other significant qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to select a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech programs that you are looking at.
Is the Vet School Accredited? It’s imperative that you verify that the vet tech school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier 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 a thorough screening process that ensures you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited school is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Girdwood AK area veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The veterinary vocational school or college and program you choose must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinarian field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other pointers include checking with internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions regarding your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, call some Girdwood AK veterinarians that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend some schools not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The most effective approach to obtain practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Girdwood AK veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be invaluable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help establish associations in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A lower rate might mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Girdwood AK veterinarian community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will receive little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Girdwood AK schools you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also decide to participate in a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get feedback from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we previously discussed location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Girdwood AK home, you must make sure 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 campus is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending classes online may be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s important that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Girdwood AK. Others might only be able to go to classes in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are offered before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss as a result of work, sickness or family emergencies. You might find that an online school is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary training into your hectic life.
Vet Assistant Certificate Online Girdwood Alaska
Picking the ideal vet tech school is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students thinking about vet tech colleges must make their selection based on multiple key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential 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. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Vet Assistant Certificate Online and wanting more information on the topic Colleges Near Me That Offer Vet Tech. However, by asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to reduce your options so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the ideal school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Girdwood AK.
More Pet Friendly Locations in Alaska
Girdwood, Anchorage, Alaska
Girdwood is a resort town within the southern extent of the Municipality of Anchorage in the state of Alaska. Located near the end of the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Girdwood lies in a valley in the southwestern Chugach Mountains, surrounded by seven glaciers feeding into a number of creeks, which either converge within the valley or empty directly into the arm. Girdwood is typically accessed by the Seward Highway (Milepost 90), with the main line of the Alaska Railroad paralleling the highway. By road distance, most of the community lies within 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) of Downtown Anchorage. According to 2014 estimates, a little under 2,000 people live in the valley.
Founded as a community to supply miners during the Turnagain Arm gold rushes of the 1890s, Girdwood was mostly a small, quiet place until the middle of the 20th century. Two events drastically altered that. The first was the establishment of Alyeska Resort along the slopes of Mount Alyeska, which became an international destination coincidental with Anchorage's civic promotion of itself as "The Air Crossroads of the World". The second was the 1964 earthquake, which devastated the original townsite located directly along the arm. Following the earthquake, most of the town moved further up the valley to a new townsite, though a few homes remained and a strip mall was later constructed along the Seward Highway. Historically dominated in the years since the resort's opening by seasonally-occupied vacation homes and seasonal activity at the resort, the opening of the Alyeska Prince Hotel during the 1990s has shifted the resort, and hence Girdwood as a whole, more towards year-round activity and a year-round economy. This has led to periodic debates about community growth and affordability of housing for resort workers, many of whom over the years have resorted to camping illegally on public lands.
Girdwood still revolves heavily around seasonal activity, with skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort bringing visitors and their money into the community. Summer activities are also popular, which include hiking, fishing and rafting. The Girdwood Forest Fair, held every July, is the community's most significant visitor attraction apart from resort-related activities. Girdwood is located within the northernmost extent of rain forest on Earth, and also serves as the closest point of access to Chugach National Forest from Anchorage proper.