Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools Elmore AL

How to Choose a Veterinary Technician Program near Elmore Alabama

Elmore AL vet tech diagnosing puppyRealizing your long term goal of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech school near Elmore AL might at first seem like a challenging undertaking. After all, you need to find and enroll in a college that will furnish the proper training so that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you approach assessing and comparing schools so that you can make the proper selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. When they have found some local colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important factors when comparing vet tech schools, they are by no means the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet technician programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the various responsibilities of veterinary technicians and the training alternatives available.

The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Technician in Elmore AL 

cat with cone after surgery in Elmore ALOne of the initial decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a veterinary assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your preference might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the principal determiner will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And while there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Elmore AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose conditions, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work exclusive of the typical vet practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the job functions and education prerequisites for each position.

  • Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have completed a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Generally they are not associated with more complex activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians get more extensive training in contrast to assistants and normally obtain a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated tasks, for example assisting with surgeries or providing medication. All states presently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
  • Vet Technologists are similar to vet technicians and essentially perform the same job functions. They are mandated to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 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 career opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.

Vet techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Elmore AL labs or research facilities as well.

Vet Tech Online Schools Offered in Elmore

student attending online vet tech school in Elmore ALAn alternative that might 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 training program. Since the classes are offered over the internet, students can study on their own timetable wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can normally be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Elmore AL veterinarian practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary costs, for example for travel and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more standard classroom courses. Just make sure that the online school 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 included for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online vet tech program may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Elmore AL Vet Tech Schools

Questions to ask Elmore AL vet tech schoolsAt this point you should have selected which veterinary degree that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Elmore AL area as well as across the USA, you need to ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we mentioned in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously mentioned other essential qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to enroll in a college 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 should ask the veterinary technician colleges that you are considering.

Is the Vet School Accredited?  It’s imperative that you confirm that the vet tech college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. 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 verifies you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since many programs are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a prerequisite for employment for many Elmore AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the Program’s Reputation?  The veterinarian trade school or college and program you choose must have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with online school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing department if there have been any complaints or violations regarding your specific schools. As a final tip, contact some Elmore AL vet clinics that you might want to work for after you get your training. Ask what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best approach to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical setting. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Elmore AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local vet community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.

Is there a Job Assistance Program?  Finding a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are evaluating. A lower rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the curriculum or that some students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate might mean that the program has an outstanding reputation within the Elmore AL veterinarian community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may mean that the training is not highly thought of 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 probably will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Request from the Elmore AL programs you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also decide to attend a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Okay, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Elmore AL home, you need to make certain that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition fees particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking classes online could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And last, it’s essential that you find out if the veterinarian schools you are evaluating offer class times flexible enough 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 Elmore AL. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are offered prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family issues. You may find that an online school is the best way to fit your vet training into your active life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near Elmore AL?

If you have decided to attend a Veterinary Technician Program in the Elmore Alabama area, then you may find the following information about the location of your school campus interesting and informing.

Elmore County, Alabama

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 65,874 people, 22,737 households, and 17,552 families residing in the county. The population density was 106 people per square mile (41/km2). There were 25,733 housing units at an average density of 41 per square mile (16/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.02% White, 20.64% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. 1.22% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 22,737 households out of which 37.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.40% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.80% were non-families. 20.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 32.10% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 10.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.30 males.

Choose the Right Vet Tech School near Elmore AL

Elmore AL vet tech holding dogChoosing the right vet tech program is a crucial first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students considering veterinary technician programs need to make their determination based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the right college, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Elmore AL.

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