9 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Veterinary Technician Program
Published on January 11, 2019 by A. Rothstein
Do you love animals? Preparing for your future by enrolling in a veterinary technician program is the first step to make a difference for pets and their owners. Working as a veterinary technician offers an opportunity to help pets and their owners, to rescue pets, and make a positive impact in the community. Veterinary technicians work in many facilities including veterinarian’s offices, animal hospitals, animal sanctuaries, and zoos.
Licensed veterinarians supervise veterinary technician. These veterinary technicians provide the same nursing services that nurses provide for medical doctor’s patients. However, veterinary technicians don’t prescribe medication, perform surgical procedures, or diagnose medical conditions. There are many different questions to ask before choosing a veterinary technician program. Here are 9 of the most important.
Question #1 – What Are the Duties of a Veterinary Technician?
An important question to ask before you enroll in a veterinary technician program is what duties are expected of a veterinary technician. Veterinary technicians train to handle tasks in a veterinary office or animal hospital. Here are some of the duties a veterinary technician may perform on a day-to-day basis:
- Administer vaccines
- Assist with routine procedures
- Care for, bathe, and feed animals
- Care for sick or injured animals
- Collect samples for the lab
- Document pet’s behavior
- Know how to restrain animals during exams
- Performs diagnostic tests
- Records information and updates on pet’s charts
- Surgery preparation and assistance
- Take X-Rays
- Provide emergency assistance to veterinarians
Veterinary technicians may also educate pet owners about pet care, animal behavior, disease prevention and health treatment.
Things to Consider – Investments
There are many factors to consider when choosing a veterinary technician program. Training for a career as a veterinary technician requires a significant investment of time, money, and discipline. Here are the most important questions to consider before choosing a veterinary technician program.
Question #2 – Is the School Accredited?
An essential question to ask is whether the school is accredited. An association like the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) or the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) should approve the school that students choose.
Graduates are better prepared for a career if they’ve studied at an accredited school. Another reason for choosing an accredited school is that some employers don’t see student’s credentials as legitimate if they haven’t earned a degree from a school with recognized accreditation.
Question #3 – What Are the Prerequisites?
Vocational school programs prepare students to achieve the necessary prerequisites for a veterinary technician program. Students will get a solid background in math and natural sciences. The program will teach good math skills, as they are necessary when measuring doses of prescription medications.
Excellent communication skills and compassion for animals are a must since veterinary technicians have a lot of interaction with pets and their owners. Establishing professional relationships with pet owners is essential.
In addition to knowledge skills, a lot of stamina and a certain amount of physical strength helps when handling large animals. A veterinary technician is expected to have a minimum ability to lift small and large animals.
Question #4 – What Degree Programs Are Available?
The degree program that students choose may depend on whether they want to advance their career beyond working as a veterinary technician. An Associate’s of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology is required to work as a veterinary technician. However, students who wish to be a veterinarian after working as a veterinary technician may want to supplement their education with a bachelor’s degree.
Question #5 – How Are the Necessary Credentials Designated?
The qualifications can vary depending on the state in which a student lives. The credentials must be specific to a state in which the veterinary technician will work. Before working as a certified veterinary technician, they must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).
Question #6 – What is the Curriculum?
For students who wish to earn a A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology and work as a veterinary technician, most schools require students to complete at least 64 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical coursework. Students also take 30 hours of general education courses in their first year.
Classes Offered in Veterinary Technician Program
The classes a veterinary technician program provides includes animal dentistry, imaging, surgical assisting, large animal care, animal anatomy and physiology, anesthesiology, pain management, clinical labs, and small animal emergency care. There will also be a mock exam to prepare students for the VTNE.
Students learn by hands-on experience with animals and assist instructors with routine exams and vaccinations for cats, dogs, and other small animals. Students also learn to care for large farm animals.
Question #7 – What On-Site Facilities Are Available?
One question a lot of students have is what facilities are available at the vocational school. A top school for veterinary technicians has on-site facilities where students can get hands-on experience working with both small and large animals. Facilities may include kennels that are temporary homes for animals, labs like those in veterinary’s clinics, and surgical suites where students get experience assisting with minor surgery.
Question #8 – Are Externships Available?
Externships are available for students in the final year of their veterinary technician degree program. Students may work with certified veterinary technicians and veterinarians during an externship. Externships are an excellent way to expand on a student’s medical knowledge and meet the requirements for graduation. Externships also give students real world experience that helps them get their first job as a veterinary technician.
Question #9 – Are Career Services Available?
Some veterinary technician schools offer career services before graduation to prepare students for job interviews. Before graduation, career services may include notifying students of possible employment opportunities and how to create an outstanding resume. After graduation, many schools will continue to alert graduates of potential opportunities, assist with updating resumes, preparing graduates with mock interviews and promoting job fairs and networking. Although no college can guarantee a job after graduation, almost 75% of graduates will become employed after the veterinary technician program is complete at Broadview University.
Want to Learn More?
Did learning about how to prepare for a veterinary technician job interview interest you? Ready to start a program to become a veterinary technician? With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to start an entry-level career as a veterinary technician. Broadview University has been part of the community for more than 40 years, so we’ve developed connections that can help move your career forward. After completing our accredited degree program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passing the VTNE allows you to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), a designation that will give you a competitive advantage when you enter the job market.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming a veterinary technician and working in veterinary technology.
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