Category Archives: West Virginia

Veterinary Assistant Education Walkersville WV

How to Enroll In the Right Vet Tech Program near Walkersville West Virginia

Walkersville WV vet tech checking kittensAchieving your lifelong goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near Walkersville WV could initially seem like a daunting task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a college that will deliver the appropriate training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle evaluating and contrasting programs so that you can make the right selection? Many potential students launch their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their homes. When they have located some nearby schools, they determine which ones have the lowest tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important considerations when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Qualifications such as accreditation and internship programs need to be considered as well. The point is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician schools you are considering before you make a final decision. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll explore the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.

The Responsibilities of a Vet Tech

Walkersville WV vet technician holding dogOne of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the main determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And although there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Walkersville WV veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the conventional vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each position.

  • Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a community college or vocational school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the execution of their duties. Normally they are not associated with more involved undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their typical responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning examination rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians undergo more extensive training compared to assistants and typically obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are involved in more involved duties, such as assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes four years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either certification, registration or licensing.

Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Walkersville WV labs or research facilities also.

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Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered

Walkersville WV student attending online vet tech programAn approach that might make sense for those with a busy schedule or who are working full-time while going to veterinary college is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are provided over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The syllabus is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many vet technician and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can usually be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Walkersville WV veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary costs, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make certain that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is provided for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary technician program may be the right option for you.

Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools

Questions to ask Walkersville WV vet tech schoolsAt this point you probably have selected which veterinary degree that you want to attain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Walkersville WV area and across the Country, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of alternatives. As we discussed in our introduction, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously pointed out other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to enroll in a school 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 veterinary technician programs that you are considering.

Is the Veterinary College Accredited?  It’s essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that confirms you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a requirement for employment for a number of Walkersville WV area veterinarian practices and hospitals.

What is the School’s Reputation?  The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you enroll in must have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for testimonials from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the West Virginia school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Walkersville WV veterinary clinics that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best way to get clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs set up with Walkersville WV veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the clinical training, but an internship can also help develop relationships in the local vet community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Provided?  Finding a job after graduating from a vet tech college can be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are reviewing. A lower rate might suggest that the instructors were unqualified to teach the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could indicate that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Walkersville WV vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower 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 bigger, you probably will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Walkersville WV programs you are considering what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Okay, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Walkersville WV home, you must make certain that the commuting time is compatible with 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, especially if the school is located close by or within a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for community and state colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it’s essential that you find out if the veterinarian programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Walkersville WV. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Confirm that the class times you require are available before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss because of work, sickness or family issues. You might discover that an online program is the ideal solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.

Veterinary Assistant Education Walkersville West Virginia

Walkersville WV vet tech holding puppySelecting the right vet tech program is a crucial first step to beginning a gratifying career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students thinking about veterinary technician programs must make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative tasks and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have discussed, it’s very important that you select a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This goes for vet tech online programs as well. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Veterinary Assistant Education and wanting more information on the topic Accredited Online Vet Assistant Programs. However, by asking the questions included in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet tech in Walkersville WV.

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