Best/Worst Distance Learning Vet Tech Schools?

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tigress777 in Macedonia, Ohio

58 months ago

Hello there
Well, its interesting to see the director of a program arguing with students online ..as a Penn Foster student you should know that it IS true that basically you will be sitting in a room with your book taking mult choice open book tests until your exams at the end of the semester. These need to be proctored. You must find your own proctor and pay a fee to take your own exams. All SEVEN exams must be taken IN ONE SITTING...thats right..six straight hours and they are ALL ESSAY. Thats right pages and pages of essay answers for each course..all in the same six hour session. One simply can not be as eloquent after 5 HOURS of writing essays. Sounds like a nightmare? It was and I have a bachelors degree already. The first semester math course uses the same nursing textbook as the human nursing program for dosages, only PF doesnt let you use a calculator in the exam. .The state exam does..
There were questions on my Veterinary exam about the Penn Foster program itself like they were trying to see if it was really me....I had to show ID...this was really confusing...trick question?
So although I have an A average for the semster..I think the exams blew it for me. My proctor didnt keep time for me and I took too long on one..ran out of time and raced through the rest.
I also have had a terrible time getting any help..I usually get an instructor from another program who takes a message and I never get a call back. Wait, I did once...
Im looking into other programs now.
Sorry, every word is the truth.

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tigress777 in Macedonia, Ohio

58 months ago

Oh, you should know that on campus, you take a class and at the end of that class, there is an exam, usually with a study outline. Penn Foster makes you take one class at a time and wait until you have finished the entire semester before you can take the exams for the first classes you took six months ago...yep all at the end, at the same time. Im not kidding...I wish I was..
And make sure you memorize the entire book as there is no outline for all of these essay questions. There are a few courses that have open book exams.
Just an FYI, wish someone had warned me.

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KAT the Dog Lover in Long Beach, California

58 months ago

I am enrolled in the Vet Tech Distance Learning Program with San Juan College, which is accredited by the AVMA. The entire program leads to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, and all other General Education courses will need to be figured in for the degree. So far I love the freedom to make my own schedule, and find it relatively easy to block out the time I need for study, homework, and tests.

Tier 1 covers the basics. At this time, students don't need to have their GEs done. However, by Tier 2, students are required to have their GEs finished AND they have to secure a minimum 10 hrs/wk preceptorship (i.e., clinicals or externship), which Dr. Wright (the program director) considers a "job" - whether paid or non-paid I have yet to find out. Tiers 3 and 4 are more advanced and delve even deeper.

I find it very easy to communicate with the staff and faculty, and although the school is a business, there is a very friendly tone and "family" atmosphere - at least in all of my dealings with the VTDLP department. I sure hope I remain as enamored after this semester! :-D

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Poss ex-Penn Foster Student in Albany, New York

58 months ago

Well I should change my name to Ex-Penn Foster student now. I ended up switching to San Juan College and have a bigger rant about Penn Foster. I asked them to send my transcripts to San Juan and gave them the address and paid them 10 dollars. I end up receiving the transcript ant my house and when i called them they wanted another 10 bucks for their mistake. Even though I am only in week 6 of courses I can see a big difference in the schools. San Juan seems a lot more concerned with their students and my courses seem to be focused on making you understand the reasoning behind things and not just "it is what it is" attitude I got from PF. Also they a fully cooperative with the fact I work in a digital x-ray clinic and have made accommodations to allow me to do my assignments that way.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

58 months ago

I'm glad to know that you got your problem with the x-rays taken care of.
Dr. Wright (Director of San Juan's program) is a really good guy and you are right, he really wants you to understand the why's about things.

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Jessica in Denver, Colorado

57 months ago

Just so everyone here knows, I currently work at a 7 Dr. AAHA hospital here in Denver. We do a lot of internships, we have 1 or 2 at all times. I live here and Bel Rey is here, so there are a lot of techs it seems like everywhere. We had someone from San Juan come in to apply to the internship coordinator last week. She flat out told her no. The books had not so great info, and terrible misspellings. It was unbelievably unprofessional. I felt so bad for the girl. I myself want to do distance learning because of family and work things. I hope that the fact I'll have worked at a hospital for almost 3 years (in reception) will help convince employers that I have enough experience with the online schooling. I was looking at all of them, but now I'm leaning back towards PF because the SJ stuff looked so bad. Its really just impossible to figure out it seems like! I have also spoken to at least 15 hospitals to see if they would hire a CVT with an online education. About 5 said no way, 8 said it would depend, and 2 didn't answer. Another issue I have is the equine facilities were MUCH ruder, which is what I want to do. I work at a small animal and exotic hospital now. I worry if PF has ANY large animal study in their program?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

What books are you talking about?

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Jessica in Denver, Colorado

57 months ago

She came in with some packet from the school. I think she was supposed to follow it on her internship. There were a lot of misspellings and legalities and it left the people at my work with a bad impression. I know if someone's taking the classes they aren't going to want to hear that but it was my experience so I'm sorry.

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avmoo0801 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

57 months ago

Has anyone heard of Gatlin Education out of Ft. Worth Texas? They offer a veternary assistant program through various colleges..any feedback is appreciated..Thanks!!!

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Poss ex-Penn Foster Student in Altamont, New York

57 months ago

Jessica, Are you sure she wasn't going to penn foster. San Juan makes you work at a vet's office the whole time you are in school PF requires nine weeks at the end of your second semester. I didn't recieve a booklet with san juan but I did with PF and there were ALOT of misspellings. With san juan they have tasks that have to be done every week for the whole semester and it is with each class.

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Jessica in Denver, Colorado

57 months ago

Yes I'm sure it wasn't PF. I read over the whole thing. I guess book might not be the right word, 3 ring binder is what it was. Just a white 3 ring binder with her grades and what she needed to do for the internship. Anyway, our internship coordinator is looking at PF stuff now so we'll see what she says. I'm curious. It's a lot cheaper, and to be honest in a state like Co were you have to be certified anyway I'm not to sure it matters where you went as long as you have certification. It does make me nervous though that you have to do the last 9 weeks at a large animal facility and they don't tell you were to go. I live in the middle of downtown Denver!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

avmoo0801 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey said: Has anyone heard of Gatlin Education out of Ft. Worth Texas? They offer a veternary assistant program through various colleges..any feedback is appreciated..Thanks!!!

Are you wanting to be a veterinary technician or is veterinary assisting the only goal you have? These are two different positions and in many states you are going to be limited on what you can do as a veterinary assistant. If veterinary assisting is all you want to do, then ask some questions of the online school about whether or not their certification will count towards college credits at AVMA accredited veterinary technology programs in case you decide to continue your education. Also ask whether or not the instructors are DVMs or credentialed veterinary technicians and if any veterinary professional organizations endorse their courses. If the answers to these questions are no then go somewhere else. Those 3 criteria are very important when considering one program over another because they affect how well respected that certification will be out in the world. I've done interviews where people were certified from different online education companies and for the most part we didn't really consider those as assets on their resume.

Truthfully my opinion is that if you are willing to pay for an education you are simply better off going through an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program and getting a degree. These programs are more respected and they provide you with a better education along with allowing you to sit for the credentialing exams for your state as a veterinary technician. (This means you can get licensed, registered or certified.)

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

Jessica in Denver, Colorado said: Yes I'm sure it wasn't PF. I read over the whole thing. I guess book might not be the right word, 3 ring binder is what it was. Just a white 3 ring binder with her grades and what she needed to do for the internship. Anyway, our internship coordinator is looking at PF stuff now so we'll see what she says. I'm curious. It's a lot cheaper, and to be honest in a state like Co were you have to be certified anyway I'm not to sure it matters where you went as long as you have certification. It does make me nervous though that you have to do the last 9 weeks at a large animal facility and they don't tell you were to go. I live in the middle of downtown Denver!

I will check with Dr. Wright to see if maybe there is some confusion. As was stated, San Juan requires that you work for a veterinarian the whole time you are taking their courses---it's not just an internship at the end. So maybe there is something else this person is doing and there was some miscommunication.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

57 months ago

I can tell you that we have Stautzenberger College ($23K +) locally & some veterinarians won't hire graduates (@ their price, I would hope that they grill their grads to pass the technician license test) because supposedly those grads don't have hands on experience. On the other hand, in OH, laws now don't allow vet assistants/students hands on training @ vet clinics while in school for the tech degree/license. Of course, in Oh most vet clinics won't post tech licenses, so I suppose that it's a safe bet that any employees do whatever skills are required. If not, talk about overloading graduate vet techs who are already working @ overbooked & understaffed clinics.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

57 months ago

You would think that anyone who wants to work w/horses would be welcome @ facilities that treat horses, but you can understand the liabilities involved, too. I would suggest getting as much experience as you can w/horses (local farriers, local equine vets, whoever will let you shadow if not help directly since once you prove you aren't freaked and/or have expertise in handling horses, you'll probably get some hands on anyway). I got kicked in the face by a horse when I was interning @ The Ohio State U (I mean the ancillary personnel around could have prevented it w/some basic control but couldn't be bothered); we're talking a glancing touch that didn't even leave a scar that touched the side of my nose w/the edge of the horseshoe -- I flew ten feet across the barn area. Makes anyone truly understand the term "horsepower."

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

Pebcle,
I have to wonder at just what you know about Stautzenberger College because their veterinary technology program is AVMA accredited and all AVMA accredited programs must have a hands-on training portion.
And most equine facilities don't just accept anyone who wants to work with horses due to the serious risk posed by having in-experienced personnel around horses that are already in a situation that is likely to lead to some dangerous behavior. We turned down many applicants at the equine hospital for this reason--little or no actual experience handling horses.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

57 months ago

All I know is what I'm told by technicians who graduated from Stautzenberger, that certain veterinarians and/or managers won't hire those graduates. And, yes, you don't want anyone around horses who has no knowledge, experience, or "horse sense" . . but how is anyone who wants to apply veterinary technology to the equine field able to follow that dream if not permitted some contact w/horses & horse vets? You don't have to tell me about "horsepower" -- I got kicked in my face @ OSU (thanks to no one applying basic restraint to a horse that we were prepping for SX)-- merely a touch w/the side of the horseshoe on my nose sent me flying ten feet across the stable!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

They are expected to get horse experience in more relaxed situation such as working at a ranch, boarding or training facility. It's just too blasted dangerous for everyone involved to try to train a person who doesn't have much experience handling horses to handle them during really stressful situations while also trying to get the necessary medical care done.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

57 months ago

It's Hallowe'en every day when you wear the costume of a veterinary technician & you work in the middle of the horror show that describes most veterinary clinics.

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a411s112 in Export, Pennsylvania

56 months ago

I want to go to school for vet tech. I work full time and have a 3 1/2 year old son. I need to do distance learning to accomplish that. from what i've read on here the majority seem to recommend San Juan. That school doesn't seem realistic for someone who has a full time job and a child. I was looking into Penn Foster. From what i gather current students seem to have no qualms.

I've read people have had problems with the practicum with Penn Foster in finding places that have all the requirements and that the school wasn't helpful in finding places. I'd just like to comment that that isn't just a problem with a distance learning school or Penn Foster specifically. My boyfriend attends Penn State and they were no help in him finding an internship. so i don't think that should be held against them. But is there a school someone can recommend that doesn't require you to work/volunteer anywhere while taking all the courses? I understand hands on is as equally important as the formal education but i seem to like the set up Penn Foster has.

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Laurie Branch in Lyndhurst, New Jersey

56 months ago

tigress777 in Macedonia, Ohio said: Oh, you should know that on campus, you take a class and at the end of that class, there is an exam, usually with a study outline. Penn Foster makes you take one class at a time and wait until you have finished the entire semester before you can take the exams for the first classes you took six months ago...yep all at the end, at the same time. Im not kidding...I wish I was..
And make sure you memorize the entire book as there is no outline for all of these essay questions. There are a few courses that have open book exams.
Just an FYI, wish someone had warned me.

You are right, this is definitely a very difficult program and a very, very hard way to take finals. This program though really is the only one that seems to work along with a very hectic work schedule. So I am at the end of my 2nd semester, getting ready once again for the dreaded proctors and my first practicum. I hope I can make it through this - it is grueling!

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jenny in Santa Barbara, California

56 months ago

has anyone done the program at cedar valley college? everyone seems to like san juan the best. why is there out-of-state tuition?? that is kinda discouraging...

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

56 months ago

I took the onsite degree program at Cedar Valley a very long time ago. I couldn't tell you much about their online program except that it is more expensive than some of the others, even if you pay the in-county tuition.

San Juan's online program has cheaper out-of-state tuition than Cedar Valley's in-state tuition. San Juan's program is also run by the veterinarian who was the program director at Cedar Valley when I went to school there so I'm sure that it's not some rinky-dink program. Dr. Wright is a stickler for his students actually learning.

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Connie_UpperMI_future_vet_tech in Bark River, Michigan

56 months ago

I am debating between Penn and SJC and still haven't decided. I'm leaning more towards SJC because of the semester or quarter segments. I think taking 6 or 7 classes then taking all the exams would overload my brain! I have only 7 or so clinics around here and most are smaller and many have only heard of Purdue. Which I don't want to spend 17k+. One clinic said that as long as the school/program was AVMA accredited then there shouldn't be a problem. I'm also leaning toward SJC because of the financial aid. I have yet to talk to anyone at SJC because of the holiday weekend. I'm am raring on getting started. I had started a on-campus program in one school but left because I moved 400 miles away. They allowed 200 some odd people into the first year of the program and then narrowed it down to 20 to start the second year. I have a friend who is still waiting on getting into her second year because she had a B- and a C in two courses. It was insanely hard just to be allowed in. I had to retake courses because I had a B in a course that I tried to transfer in. Any other useful information about any distance learning program for vet tech let me know. The nearest on campus place is 4 hours away. I currently am working at a private kennel boarding place. My boss used to be a vet assistant. Oh, Is it just the clinic hours that need to be under the supervision of a DVM or other CVT?

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calisun639 in Watsonville, California

56 months ago

I am currently deciding between purdue's distance vet tech program and san juan's. I like the purdue name but LOVE the cost at san juan. Any reason to pay for the name of purdue?? Anyone attended either of these schools or know anything about them?

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Kodiak in Greensboro, North Carolina

56 months ago

Hi Connie and Calisun639,
I went thru the same debate just recently. I like the Purdue name and their program looks great but the cost is a drawback. Both Purdue and San Juan have full accredition. I work full time and am only able to take a limited class load. I spoke with the people at San Juan and they are wonderful. As can be seen here from previous posts by others. Any department I have dealt with has been professional and friendly and willing to help. In the event you leave a message they get back to you in a timely manner. I am now registered to start the online vet tech program at San Juan in Spring of 2010. Best of luck in your decision and schooling.

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Connie_UpperMI_future_vet_tech in Bark River, Michigan

56 months ago

Kodiak in Greensboro, North Carolina said: Hi Connie and Calisun639,
I went thru the same debate just recently. I like the Purdue name and their program looks great but the cost is a drawback. Both Purdue and San Juan have full accredition. I work full time and am only able to take a limited class load. I spoke with the people at San Juan and they are wonderful. As can be seen here from previous posts by others. Any department I have dealt with has been professional and friendly and willing to help. In the event you leave a message they get back to you in a timely manner. I am now registered to start the online vet tech program at San Juan in Spring of 2010. Best of luck in your decision and schooling.

I have applied and registered for classes at san juan. I'm just waiting for my transcripts to get there so my financial aid will be available. Otherwise I'm all set up for spring 2010 as well :D

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lproxygirl77 in Albany, Oregon

56 months ago

Hey everyone! I been reading up on this site too and just started looking at the San Juan course myself. I called PF several times before fully researching them and they were the rudest people I have ever talked too!!!! Going to call SJC tomorrow and see if I can get registered. I also have the GI bill so not sure how this will work out. plus with working full time 10-7 M-F I hope I have the time to work at a local clinic or volunteer....

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Renabean in Marietta, Georgia

55 months ago

Does anyone have any experience with the Perdue vet tech distance learning program?

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Kristeninhumboldt in Humboldt County, California

55 months ago

I know that when you are looking into an online vet tech program it's hard to know up from down. Be careful with Penn Foster make sure that is what you need to pursue your dream. I looked into the online programs and did my research. I decided on San Juan college in New Mexico they are fully accredited and so far have been very receptive to any and all questions I had. I wanted to make sure that my investment in time and money actually culminated with a degree as well as the ability and knowledge to pass the state licensing exam for California.

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Stephanie in Clarksville, Tennessee

54 months ago

I'm a military spouse and a stay at home of two small children. I can find the time to do online classes, but the setting of a traditional college just isn't realisitc.
With the military one source 6k finacial aid to mil spouses I am now in a hopeful setting to attend classes. But here's the kicker, I can't really afford to go beyond that.
I have researched PF, and THEY TRULY ARE as bad as everyone here has said they are. The aid I spoke to over the phone actually told me to seek education else where to not waste my aid there. That it would take 3.5 years to actually complete, and that I would probably end up transfereing, and pretty much be SOL, because I had already used my financial aid.
I've yet to look into SJ or Purdue, plan on searching them tonight and tomorrow.
What I want to ask is; has anyone heard anything on this program from Animal Behavior College? Supposedly the set up the externship for you, but it could be anywhere from 10 to 60 miles away. It's only a certificate course the VA, but does anyone know anything on it?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

54 months ago

If you are going to spend money and time on a program, you are better off to go with a veterinary technology degree program. As I've said earlier in this thread, the veterinary assisting programs are not equivalent and will not allow you to sit for the credentialing exams to work as a veterinary technician. In many states you must be licensed or registered in order to work as a veterinary technician. Veterinary assisting is an entry-level position with no requirements to be hired and thus tends to be lower paying. Go with a college degree program. It will allow you to sit for the veterinary technician exam which you will want to do if you really like this line of work and it will also be a foundation you can build any other degree you want to earn on.

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LMC5286 in Venice, Florida

54 months ago

Hello everyone! I am very interested in going to school to be a Vet Tech... I'm 23 years old and have been self employeed in the car dealership industry, and needless to say its not going so well... I worked for a mobil vet clinic from the age of 16-19 doing everything from product sales to helping the vets with toe nail trims, anal glands, filling syringes, so I am pretty familiar with products and vaccines but would like to goto school to obviously learn more than just toe nail trims and anal glands.. haha.. I have a very good background with dogs as well as horses... I have a small problem tho, I dropped out of high school the first month of my senior year of High School, and never got my GED, since my business is going down hill fast I am in the process of getting my GED, do any of you think this is going to be a problem with me getting accepted to a distance program such as San Juan? Greatly appreciate any suggestions!
Thank You
Lisa

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

54 months ago

Lisa,
That really is going to depend on the college's requirements. You should contact the colleges you are interested in and ask them directly about their requirements and having a GED.

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LMC5286 in Venice, Florida

54 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: Lisa,
That really is going to depend on the college's requirements. You should contact the colleges you are interested in and ask them directly about their requirements and having a GED.

Thanks! I'll get a hold of them tomm. Hopefully this won't ruin my chances.... I would be crushed...

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LMC5286 in Venice, Florida

54 months ago

Hi Lisa,
To be a degree seeking student and qualify for financial aid, you would need to complete your GED. If you are not seeking financial aid at this time, you could be provisionally accepted and begin courses.
Sherry

That was not what I was expecting! That is from Sherry at San Juan.. Well I'm going to get me GED anyway... This makes me a lot happier, even tho obviously not a guarantee but still! Just thought I'd share in case anyone else may be in my shoes...

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reikicara in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania

54 months ago

Hi Lisa!
Sherry is very, very nice and that is awesome that they will allow you provisional acceptance!
From the start, I got the impression that SJC really cares about the students. I am in my second semester and they have been on top of everything from the very start. I really like it. They are very good at keeping in contact, following up, etc.
Good luck to you!!!

LMC5286 in Venice, Florida said: Hi Lisa,
To be a degree seeking student and qualify for financial aid, you would need to complete your GED. If you are not seeking financial aid at this time, you could be provisionally accepted and begin courses.
Sherry

That was not what I was expecting! That is from Sherry at San Juan.. Well I'm going to get me GED anyway... This makes me a lot happier, even tho obviously not a guarantee but still! Just thought I'd share in case anyone else may be in my shoes...

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Kris in Sacramento, California

54 months ago

Poss ex-Penn Foster Student in Albany, New York said: Well I should change my name to Ex-Penn Foster student now. I ended up switching to San Juan College and have a bigger rant about Penn Foster. I asked them to send my transcripts to San Juan and gave them the address and paid them 10 dollars. I end up receiving the transcript ant my house and when i called them they wanted another 10 bucks for their mistake.

Did SJC take your credits from Penn Foster? And did PF give you all your credits up to practicum? I mean were your 2nd semester classes completed and credited? Other then practicum? I am currently midway in my 2nd semester. And truly only worried about practicum. I so far have had no problems with PF and have enjoyed the classes and learning experience. As a mom of 6 children I have limited time to attend classes. Yes the proctors took a long time and yes I think they should be broken up a bit more but I was 9 months pregnant when I did my 1st semester proctors. I did not get up 1 time the entire 6 hours (even though you are allowed a break) and i managed to pass all but math and that i took last, I was fried and also suck at math like that. But I passed my retest. I made honor roll for the first semester. If a 9 month preggo lady can handle it I doubt anyone else couldn't. i only worry about practicum because 1. limited time frame, 2. I live in an area with 4 campus colleges offering vet tech degrees and most vet facilities have their quota of students already. Other then fear of finding a place and time for the practicum, (which i would need to do regardless of which distance school I attend) I have had no problems with Penn Foster.

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tigercub in Canton, Ohio

54 months ago

pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio said: PLEASE consider applying @ any local veterinarian office as ancillary help before spending money on any school. SERIOUSLY. Veterinarians are looking for hands on trained people; I know that the manager @ one clinic won't even hire graduates of Stautzenberger College because those graduates lack all the hands on training that she (manager) feels is necessary to work as a registered vet tech (her stated position as a vet tech). Most vet clinics around the Cleveland area are not interested in a degree as much as in experience. What any textbook training will give you is a slight overview of what you will learn, & you will figure out quickly that you are learning the skills needed in @ least five different human fields (better pay, selection of hours & locations, etc). PLEASE don't make the same mistake like I did @ 40 years of age; I LOVED the job, graduated w/honors, & found it impossible to support myself (& only me)financially. I'm still recovering from the mental & emotional toll taken by the chronic overload of work (overscheduled & understaffed). You can do the research yourself; the average lifespan in the vet tech field is five years due to burnout (quoting Vet Tech magazine itself). We were really sold a lot of wishful thinking at Cuyahoga Community College/Columbus State in 1991.

Hey, I am in vet tech school and woudl like to get some advice from you if thats ok. please email me at soulwhodreams143@hotmail.com
I'd like to hear a bit more if you dont mind please, as I to am sinking fast.

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SS in Pullman, Washington

54 months ago

I am finding this an interesting thread...

So, after being a credential, AVMA accredited grad for 25 years, I went back to school at St. Pete's to do the BAS program. Why pick St. Pete's? Well, they have the oldest AVMA accredited distance learning program and they now have the BAS as well. Expensive you say, well yes. I agree, but you do get what you pay for. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking to get into a credentialed vet tech career. I work 40+ hours a week, am an officer in a national academy and have a family. It is not easy, but doable. For those who say they are burned out and do not make enough $$, I can only say you needed to look for another job elsewhere where they would appreciate you and pay you what you deserve. One of the major problems in this profession is the unwillingness for the techs to leave a practice hanging. This is a great boon for the practice, but leaves the techs wanting and burned out. So take it from a tech that’s been in the profession for almost 32 years (and at the same practice for 25). Keep moving until you find that place that will appreciate what you can do for them. They will pay you what your worth to keep you around!

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Renabean in Marietta, Georgia

54 months ago

Thanks for the positive post! It's nice to hear about good experiences in the vet tech profession. I've been working in the field as an assisstant for about 2 years, and am thinking I may have finally found the right clinic. I've had to leave 2 others, having felt a combination of mistreated, underpaid, and/or overworked, but it's good to know that ive found a clinic that does appreciate me. My question is regarding appreciation. What do you consider appropriate pay in this field? I've read the averages in vet tech magazines and online, and it just seems like the compensation is not congruent with the work. What do you think?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

54 months ago

Unfortunately it often feels that way but then I'm sure lots of vets would tell you the same thing. Clients expect them to be on call 24/7 and not to have any kind of personal life but then complain that bills are too high without understanding the cost for a clinic to provide quality care. So, it's not just the vet techs and assistants who feel like they don't always get compensated fairly for the work that they do.

Appropriate pay is going to depend on what other benefits are offered besides just the wage. The average for licensed veterinary technicians (note this is in states where you MUST be licensed to perform certain tasks) is $17 per hour. That doesn't take into account the cost of living in a given area or the benefits that the employee also gets.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

54 months ago

You are absolutely correct about leaving an abusive work environment before burn out sets in, HOWEVER . . . I networked for the dozen years that I endured an extremely hostile clinic; the only available jobs were in equally nasty clinics (just a different brand of nasty).
My place of employment offered the widest range of experience in every department & discipline (& required people to do the work of 2-3 people simultaneously in different physical locations most of the time, hence the burn out), & most of the associate vets were great to work w/ (& often as overloaded as staff). Most clinics have owners, not managers, bullies, not coworkers, a gang, not a team. The bad eventually overrides the good. I'm an honors graduate w/a wealth of experience all wasted due to the veterinary profession's indifference & ignorance regarding management. This is all too common. If you can afford to try 3-4 clinics, you might find a decent job in fair working conditions. I couldn't then, I can't now, I'm just grateful that five years later, I'm a functional human being again. Many many many technicians have the same experience. They just LEAVE. I want to get the word out before some middle aged woman who finds her ideal career @ a job she loves has her life destroyed like I did. No teacher @ either college I attended EVER cautioned about real working conditions. Pay is still misrepresented, too.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

54 months ago

$17 an hour average wage in Texas? Latest rumor is $15 an hour average in CA where the cost of living is three times what it costs in most other states. Of course, any American knows that everything is bigger in TX! We've been reading $12 hourly for nearly twenty years (DVM mz) & recently Vet Tech mz listed $14-$17 as average wages w/a paragraph of a disclaimer @ the end of the article, that maybe the stats weren't representative (ha ha) . . . of course, in reality, pay in 1991 was $6.50 an hour, & the cleaning staff was paid better than I was (honors graduate vet tech) for nearly ten years. I worked the jobs of 2-3 people nearly the entire dozen years that I worked in an abusive environment (I networked; nothing better was ever available). MOST clinics do not pay a living wage. MANY have veterinarian owner/managers w/a plantation mentality; you'll never work hard enough or well enough for any amount of money. MOST employees cannot support themselves as vet techs. Wish our instructors were more truthful about money & working conditions!

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

54 months ago

I'm happy that a technician found a decent place to work after 2-3 bad work environments. You didn't list how long you withstood what is, unfortunately, all too common (understaffing, overscheduling, low pay, bullying too?). In OH, it seems to take 3-4 clinic tries before employment becomes available @ a fair & supportive clinic environment. You usually must stay someplace two years to get credit as an employee w/out looking like you are unstable. I only heard of different flavors of the same kind of abuse elsewhere while I networked for a dozen years til I burned out (mental breakdown) due to the excrutiating & increasing torment @ a LARGE vet clinic where I did the jobs of 2-3 sometimes 4 people. Loved the job, found the perfect career, now what? I'm 58 & financially destitute. I can only offer caution to people who want to study veterinary technology; your schools will not offer an HONEST evaluation of working conditions or wages. Again, congratulations! Most techs leave in disgust & bitterness . . .

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

54 months ago

$17 an hour is the average in the US for LICENSED technicians. In California and Texas where licensure is not required, I wouldn't say that it's the average. Though I was making $15 an hour 10 years ago in Texas.

I'm sorry to say but from most of your posts I have to wonder how much of the issues you have had was due to your attitude. I have worked in more than a dozen clinics (and I didn't pick and choose, I even did relief and went wherever I was sent for 2 years) and I have never found an outright abusive practices or the "gang" situation you describe. I am also in contact with hundreds of veterinary technicians and assistants and haven't heard stories of this kind of rampant bad working conditions that you categorize as so common.

Veterinary practices are going to be hectic places. It's the nature of the beast since you really can't plan for everything that is going to occur in a day no matter how good your scheduling--both of clients and of employees. Fitting in sick patients who need care that day, taking emergencies, having what clients deemed as nothing and so set up a "quick appointment" for turn out to be a serious condition that requires alot of care and diagnostics. Lack of QUALITY staff so that certain staff members take the brunt of the workload. It all ads up to situations where the work can be fast and furious for everyone.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

53 months ago

I can understand someone lucky enough to NEVER encounter dreadful working conditions herself (& apparently never networked w/fellow techs to discover how common those clinic conditions are. Techs who have left haven't had the outlet of the internet to tell their stories, & I seriously doubt that a website like "techsconnect" will ever permit us to caution students just like our teachers couldn't discourage students whose tuition is so needed to pay every school's bills. After all, who are you but "just another stupid tech." (quote) MY character MUST be maligned. It is important to (mis)represent every abused employee as "disgruntled." I wouldn't post anything if I didn't know that I can supply lists of character references that would tower over me @ 5'4"(I'm 58 & I'm still in touch w/my high school German teacher)! So, no, it isn't "me." That's what every abuser does to his/her victim, make said person feel as isolated & guilty as possible. Maybe you've been lucky enough to know vet/owners who admit that they need management training?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

53 months ago

I've worked with many vets who would happily tell you that they weren't good managers. I've worked with vets who thought that they were but were no where near good managers. That is truly neither here nor there. My arguement is that you paint such a black picture yet in 20 years of working in the veterinary medical field and as the president of our state vet tech association I have networked with hundreds of technicians and have not personally seen nor heard of this rampant hostility and abuse that you claim to be the norm.

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

53 months ago

I work in OH & can only speak about networking w/other techs as well as my own experience. Maybe life is good for techs in Texas. God bless you. Our college(s) painted such a rosey picture about how much appreciation & financial compensation we would receive as graduate vet techs that I think it is important to present what is out there for MANY techs. If you don't want to believe me, that's OK.

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Ady228 in Stone Mountain, Georgia

53 months ago

hello everybody

I am about to graduate from high school, and since I work and travel a lot I want to enroll in a distance learning program. At first I thought Penn Foster was good, for vet techs, but I did more research and Im kind of changing my mind. I dont want to waste my time and money on something not worth it. Now I hear a lot of you say SJC is really good, why? Besides being accredited by the AVMA, is it accredited internationally too? if anyone could respond to me I would be very thankful.

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