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Become a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Schools Woodstock IL

How to Pick a Veterinary Technician School near Woodstock Illinois

Woodstock IL vet tech diagnosing puppyRealizing your lifelong goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinary technician school near Woodstock IL could initially seem like a challenging task. 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 go about analyzing and contrasting colleges so that you can make the best choice? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have identified some nearby schools, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although expense and location are important factors when assessing veterinary technician programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The point is that there are questions you should be asking the veterinary technician programs you are looking at before you make an ultimate decision. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll discuss the varied duties of vet techs and the training options offered.

The Role of a Vet Tech in Woodstock IL 

cat with cone after surgery in Woodstock ILOne of the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your training, but the primary factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they each work under the direct guidance of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are numerous tasks that they can perform within the Woodstock IL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe medicines, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they can only furnish support to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the typical veterinarian practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialty.

  • Vet Assistants in most instances will have undergone a formal training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Generally they are not involved with more complex undertakings, such as assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing examination rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
  • Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and normally earn a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a fashion the veterinarian equivalent of medical nurses, since their general 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 involved functions, for instance 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 techs and for the most part perform the same job functions. They are required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which normally takes 4 years. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.

Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in  Woodstock IL labs or research facilities as well.

Online Veterinary Technician Programs Offered in Woodstock

student attending online vet tech school in Woodstock ILAn approach that may be a solution for those with a hectic schedule or who are working full time while attending veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are made available via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The educational program is taught using multiple venues, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since many vet tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that portion can typically be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Woodstock IL veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for example for commuting and study supplies, can be cheaper compared to more standard 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 comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant mode, an online veterinary technician program may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Woodstock IL Veterinary Technician Programs

Questions to ask Woodstock IL vet tech schoolsBy now you should have decided on which veterinary credential that you want to attain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinarian community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Woodstock IL area as well as across the United States, you need to ask some relevant questions to help fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already mentioned other important qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And naturally you want to choose a program that offers the specialty and degree that you would like to earn. These and other factors are covered in the list of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician programs that you are reviewing.

Is the Veterinary College Accredited?  It’s essential that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, one of 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 demanding screening process that verifies you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a requirement for employment for many Woodstock IL area vet practices and hospitals.

What is the School’s Reputation?  The vet trade school or college and program you select should have an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are looking at for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school rating websites and speaking with the school’s accrediting organizations as well. You can ask the Illinois school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your specific schools. As a final tip, contact some Woodstock IL veterinarians that you may want to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think of your school choices. They may even recommend one or more programs not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical environment. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Woodstock IL veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and many provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local veterinary community and aid in the search for a job after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Provided?  Getting a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college may be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are evaluating. A low rate might indicate that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Woodstock IL veterinary community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean 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 sized, you most likely will receive little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Woodstock IL programs you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the School Located?  Yes, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are planning to drive to your vet tech classes from your Woodstock IL home, you must make sure that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do choose to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes could be an alternative that will provide you with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And last, it’s important that you find out if the vet schools you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For example, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Woodstock IL. Some may only be able to attend 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 might miss as a result of illness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online college is the ideal way to fit your veterinary training into your active life.

Enrolling in a Vet Tech School near Woodstock IL?

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

Woodstock, Illinois

Woodstock is a city in and the county seat of McHenry County, Illinois, United States, located 51 miles (82 km) northwest of Chicago.[3] The population was 25,528 at the start of 2017. The city's downtown includes a historic, turn-of-the-century town square, which is anchored by the landmark Woodstock Opera House and the Old McHenry County Courthouse. The city was named one of the nation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2007 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[4]

Woodstock was originally known as Centerville because of its location at the geographic center of McHenry County. It was chosen as the county seat on September 4, 1843. Early settler Alvin Judd developed a plat for the town, which incorporated a two-acre public square, near which a 2-story frame courthouse and jail were constructed the following year by George C. Dean and Daniel Blair. In 1845, prominent resident Joel Johnson proposed that Centerville be given a more original name, and so the town was renamed Woodstock after Johnson's hometown of Woodstock, Vermont. (The town was listed as "Center" on the 1850 Federal Census, however.) In 1852, Woodstock was incorporated as a village with Judd as president. In response to a growing population following the end of the Civil War, Woodstock was incorporated as a city in 1873. John S. Wheat was elected as Woodstock's first mayor. A vital artery for the growing town was the train line to and from Chicago, which allowed for a substantial industrial presence early in the town's history.[5]

In 1895, Eugene V. Debs served a short federal prison sentence in the Woodstock Jail following the 1894 Pullman labor strike in Chicago. Debs, the former president of the American Railway Union, was held in Woodstock instead of Chicago because federal officials feared that he would be surrounded with too many sympathizers in a Chicago prison and therefore could have still incited further violence. Debs was instead assigned to a cell in the newly constructed Woodstock Jail, which occupied the lowest floor of the Woodstock Courthouse on the town square. During his time in the jail, Debs received several influential socialist visitors and encountered the works of Karl Marx. He is said to have considered the Woodstock Jail one of the "greatest school[s]," and passed his time reading and writing many letters from his cell. By the time he was released in November 1895 (to great fanfare and before crowds of onlookers assembled in the Woodstock Square), Debs had become a socialist and a national celebrity.[6] He later ran for the United States Presidency five times between 1900 and 1920 as the candidate for the newly formed Social Democratic Party.[7]

Choose the Ideal Veterinary Technician School near Woodstock IL

Woodstock IL vet tech holding dogPicking the appropriate veterinary technician program is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career providing care and treatment for pets and livestock. Potential students thinking about veterinary technician schools need to make their determination based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative responsibilities and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it’s essential that you pick a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online colleges as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to reduce your choices so that you can make your final decision. And by choosing the right program, you can achieve your goal of becoming a vet tech in Woodstock IL.

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