Do you get sufficient practical training via Online Vet Tech Schools ?

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Comments (22)

Rita Vasquez in Antioch, California

61 months ago

Hi Everyone,

Just like a lot of other future vet tech's here I am also looking into online Vet Tech programs, which are my only option to become a Vet tech at this time. I am already volunteering at a Vet's office that only handles birds and I am learning a lot, however I don't have any experience with any other species yet.

I understand that at schools such as Western Career College one has the opportunity to do the labs and gets hands-on training. How difficult is it to learn the hands-on aspect via an online training program? When completing the preceptorship do the Vet's already expect you to know everything or do they actually teach what you need to learn? Or does it depend on each of the preceptors?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated:)

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

61 months ago

All on-line (distance education) programs require that you recieve hands-on experience in a list of different areas before you can gain your degree. The online program doesn't provide the hands-on training, just gives you a list of required skills to learn and reviews proof of your competence at those skills. The vets do not expect you to know everything (or shouldn't if they are in the least bit realistic) because they understand that you are still gaining your education in this field. Preceptors agree to take the time to TEACH you the skills you need to know. However, not all preceptors are going to be as good at teaching as others.

Even after you earn your degree, vets aren't going to expect you to know "everything". They understand that just like when they were in vet school there is only so much you can learn in an educational environment and that real life experience and time are going to be necessary to make you truly competent. Vets are the same way coming out of vet school. ;)

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Rita Vasquez in Antioch, California

61 months ago

CindyRVT: Thanks for taking the time to reply! It's appreciated :)

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KAT the Dog Lover in Long Beach, California

60 months ago

Hi Rita! I am enrolled in the Vet Tech Distance Learning Program with San Juan College (Farmington, NM), 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.

The next semester begins in January. The tuition fee is $70 per course credit (most classes are 2 credits each), plus books, study supplies, computer, ISP, etc. 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'm still as enamored after this semester! :-D

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Mario in Saint Paul, Minnesota

60 months ago

on the all online, is there any schools that i should stay away from, or a specific school to look into? unfortunately with work and family online classes is pretty much my only option, any advice would be appreciated

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castlekmy in Elyria, Ohio

60 months ago

I just received information from Penn State for Vet Tech. Does anyone know anything about this school or their accredation? I am already working for a top notch Vet. Clinic, starting in the kennel area and working the emergency room on Saturday nights. I am learning alot about different skills, assisted in surgery, etc.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

60 months ago

I would recommend San Juan College's online program. I have alot of respect for the instructors there and they are very helpful when students have problems or questions.

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York County Animal Shelter in Rock Hill, South Carolina

60 months ago

Open position for Vet. Tech in county animal shelter in York, South Carolina
Go to WWW.Yorkcounty.com Human Resources.

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Ce in Sacramento, California

59 months ago

This string was very informative. My daughter is wanting to become a Vet Tech. I've been researching employment opportunities for her in the future and they look okay to good. She is thinking about Western Career College. It is way expensive $32,000 start to finish. Does anyone know how Western Career College compares with San Juan College's online program in terms of excellence of training and price tag? Any information or tips you could offer would be helpful, Thank you.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

59 months ago

San Juan is around $70 per credit hour for out of state tuition so it tends to be cheaper than many schools. And I have great respect for their director and the two technicians who teach the material. They were the director and instructors where I attended college on-site many years ago.

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Danny in Hernando, Mississippi

57 months ago

How hard is it to get financing to San Juan?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

That is something you would need to talk to the folks at San Juan about.

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biscuitmaker11 in Louisville, Kentucky

57 months ago

Hi Kat,

Just looking into San Juan about the DLVT program and wondered how your experience was going. What has it been like for you? Do you have to get your own preceptor or does San Juan have a list or certain criteria for them? How are your classes going? How many do you take at one time? Do you work full time as well as study?

Thanks,
Kay

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KAT the Dog Lover in Long Beach, California

57 months ago

My experience with SJC's online program is great! The staff and faculty were incredibly supportive during a personal emergency, and I kept up with the course schedule. The material is very new for me, but I am committed to my studies.

All students must secure their own preceptor, and there are criteria that must be met. If you have a pet then you have a vet; check with your vet or the credentialed vet tech at the hospital.

I took 2 classes my first semester, I will take 3 or 4 classes in the spring. I work from home and don't have kids so I am able to carve out the time I need for work and studies.

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David Watts in Antioch, California

51 months ago

We are in the process of creating an online training program right here in Antioch, CA check our website .

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated:)

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David Watts in Antioch, California

51 months ago

the website is www.aevti.com and it will prepare you for jobs in a clinical setting or with an animal ambulance company like our here www.animalmedics.com

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M.McA in Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California

50 months ago

David Watts in Antioch, California said: the website is www.aevti.com and it will prepare you for jobs in a clinical setting or with an animal ambulance company like our here www.animalmedics.com

When will your program be up and running? For that matter, when will your website be operational? The links don't seem to work yet.

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David Watts in Antioch, California

50 months ago

Our first class is scheduled to start September 1 2010 in Brentwood CA and another in Hayward,CA, None of the links are active except the online application that potential students can fill out for more information.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

50 months ago

David, an online training program for what exactly? What kind of certification or degree will your program offer? What kind of students are you trying to attract? What will they be qualified for after they finish your program?

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cherylak1 in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania

32 months ago

I am thinking seriously about becoming a vet tech. I have started looking at online schools. I have been out of school for quite some time and am hoping to start out slowly to get into the swing of things so to speak. I do not know if it matters how many courses a person takes each semester or not. From what I am gathering, one of the main things to look for in an online school is to make certain that it is an accredited school. I am hoping that my local vet (who has taken awesome care of my elderly dog) will allow me to do practicums at his hospital. From what I have been gathering, the online schools appear to be as good as going to a local school. Finding places to obtain hands on experience is the responsibility of the student no matter where one gets their education. I am leaning toward Penn Foster. Does anyone out there have any experiences to share on that particular school?

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SJC Student in Long Beach, California

31 months ago

cherylak1 inMount Pleasant, PA:

Having gone the same route, I can offer this advice: Talk with your vet about this first to see if s/he is open to acting as your preceptor.

What you will want from your vet is someone who will act as a preceptor by observing and signing off the tasks you're given. This can be either your DVM or a credentialed Vet Tech. Do some hours before you enroll in a program to see how you feel about the work, then secure an ongoing schedule of at least 10 hrs/wk, depending on the externship requirements of your program. The next available term for most schools is the upcoming summer session, but enrollment depends on whether the school allows year-round enrollment in their program and if they offer a summer session.

I figured my vet would be happy to have "free" help, but that did not turn out to be the case, and a tough job market in my area has all but put a stop to my advancement in my online program.

I have taken San Juan College online courses so I can speak only for their program. The Cedar Valley College program was once with the same doctor as SJC, so their programs are reportedly very similar and both are fully AVMA accredited, plus they are less expensive than Penn Foster. From what I've read from students at PF, the program is very intense and stressful come exam time, and there have been mixed reviews overall. PF is also fully AVMA accreditted so it has at least that in its favor.

Good luck with whichever program you choose!

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cherylak1 in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania

31 months ago

SJC Student in Long Beach, California said: cherylak1 inMount Pleasant, PA:

Having gone the same route, I can offer this advice: Talk with your vet about this first to see if s/he is open to acting as your preceptor.

What you will want from your vet is someone who will act as a preceptor by observing and signing off the tasks you're given. This can be either your DVM or a credentialed Vet Tech. Do some hours before you enroll in a program to see how you feel about the work, then secure an ongoing schedule of at least 10 hrs/wk, depending on the externship requirements of your program. The next available term for most schools is the upcoming summer session, but enrollment depends on whether the school allows year-round enrollment in their program and if they offer a summer session.

I figured my vet would be happy to have "free" help, but that did not turn out to be the case, and a tough job market in my area has all but put a stop to my advancement in my online program.

I have taken San Juan College online courses so I can speak only for their program. The Cedar Valley College program was once with the same doctor as SJC, so their programs are reportedly very similar and both are fully AVMA accredited, plus they are less expensive than Penn Foster. From what I've read from students at PF, the program is very intense and stressful come exam time, and there have been mixed reviews overall. PF is also fully AVMA accreditted so it has at least that in its favor.

Good luck with whichever program you choose!

Thank you very much for your response. I am thinking long and hard about this. You are right, the next step I need to make before I enroll anywhere is to see if the vet will act as my preceptor. I hope things work out for you as well.

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