Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools Somerville AL

How to Enroll In a Veterinary Technician School near Somerville Alabama

Somerville AL vet tech diagnosing puppyRealizing your long term dream of working with and helping animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Somerville AL could initially feel like a daunting undertaking. After all, you need to search for and enroll in a school that will provide the proper training to ensure that you can succeed as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing colleges so that you can make the correct selection? Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for schools that are close to their homes. After they have found some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when assessing veterinary technician programs, they are by no means the only important ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you should be asking the vet technician schools you are reviewing before you make an ultimate decision. We have furnished several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we’ll go over the varied duties of vet techs and the training options offered.

The Job of a Veterinary Technician in Somerville AL 

cat with cone after surgery in Somerville ALOne of 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 may be predicated on the amount of time and money that you have to devote to your education, but the principal determiner will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the immediate direction of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And although there are a number of jobs that they can carry out within the Somerville AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the typical veterinarian practice, for instance for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in the majority of instances will have gone through a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a trade school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the execution of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex undertakings, for example assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their regular duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or controlling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared to assistants and normally acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the vet equivalent of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are involved in more complicated duties, for example assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states currently require veterinary technicians pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
  • Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically takes 4 years to complete. 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 career options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also mandated 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 emergency care. A number may receive certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Somerville AL laboratories or research facilities also.

Online Vet Tech Programs Offered in Somerville

student attending online vet tech school in Somerville ALAn option that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are provided by means of the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The course of study is taught using several methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most vet tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can normally be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Somerville AL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary expenditures, for instance for commuting and study materials, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just be sure that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent fashion, an online veterinary technician program may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Somerville AL Vet Tech Colleges

Questions to ask Somerville AL vet tech schoolsAt this point you should have determined which veterinarian degree that you want to earn, and if you prefer to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Somerville AL area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some relevant questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and the cost of tuition. But we have already pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And naturally you want to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you are interested in. These and other qualifications are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are considering.

Is the Vet College Accredited?  It’s imperative that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a thorough review process that ensures you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is frequently a precondition for employment for a number of Somerville AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.

What is the Program’s Reputation?  The vet vocational school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinarian community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school ranking websites and checking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Somerville AL veterinarians that you might want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They might even recommend one or more schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The most effective means to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional environment. Find out if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Somerville AL veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the practical training, but an internship can also help establish relationships in the local vet community and assist in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Offered?  Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be difficult without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate may mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the curriculum or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate might indicate that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Somerville AL vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate could 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 most likely will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Somerville AL colleges you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You might also want to attend a few classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students concerning the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Yes, we previously talked about location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are planning to commute to your vet tech classes from your Somerville AL home, you need to make certain that the commuting time fits into 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, particularly if the school is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do choose to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition fees particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes might be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.

Is the Class Schedule Flexible?  And finally, it’s imperative that you determine if the veterinarian programs you are looking at offer class times flexible enough to accommodate your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or at night near Somerville AL. Others may only be able to attend classes in the morning or in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family issues. You might find that an online school is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near Somerville AL?

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

Somerville, Alabama

Somerville is a town in Morgan County, Alabama, United States. It is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 724, up from 347.

Somerville was the county seat of Morgan County from 1818 to 1891, when the seat was moved to Decatur. The town was named for Robert M. Summerville, an officer killed in 1814 during the Creek Indian War. Initially incorporated on December 3, 1819,[2][1] it is a few days older than the state. After its loss of the county seat in the 1890s, its incorporation lapsed. It was reorganized (reincorporated) on December 1, 1955.[5]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 347 people, 148 households, and 97 families residing in the town. The population density was 339.9 people per square mile (131.4/km²). There were 160 housing units at an average density of 156.7 per square mile (60.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.35% White, 5.76% Black or African American, 1.73% Native American, 0.29% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. 0.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Choose the Right Veterinary Technician Program near Somerville AL

Somerville AL vet tech holding dogPicking the appropriate vet tech college is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students thinking about vet tech schools need to make their selection based on a number of key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have discussed, it’s essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by picking the ideal program, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Somerville AL.

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