Archive for August, 2012

Learn how to help four-legged friends get back on their feet at technical schools

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Learn how to help four-legged friends get back on their feet at technical schools

If you’ve always had an affinity for animals, signing up for a training course at veterinary technician schools could be an ideal way for you to combine your love of animals with your desire to launch a new career. The prospects in this field have never been better, and working as a vet tech could be one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll ever make.

Fixing Fido

Some people think that veterinarians do all the work when it comes to helping Spot get back on his feet or taking care of Mr. Whiskers after an accident. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While skilled vets are essential for the well-being of domestic pets, they couldn’t do it without the help of veterinary technicians.

If you’re squeamish, don’t worry. As a vet tech, you won’t be conducting any surgeries yourself. You will, however, be working closely with vets to determine what’s wrong with the animals that people bring to the practice. Vet techs are responsible for a wide range of diagnostic tests and clinical procedures to help veterinarians figure out what has made an animal ill.

Sometimes, it’s not always obvious why an animal has become sick. In these situations, vet techs monitor vital signs and perform various tests such as blood work and x-rays to determine the cause of an animal’s suffering.

Times of need

Just like people, animals don’t always get sick at convenient times. Medical emergencies can happen at any time, day or night. For this reason, vet techs often work in shifts, and many are on-call during nights and weekends. Once you’ve finished your training at veterinary technician schools, you can look for work in private clinics, public shelters and animal hospitals.

Fortunately, the employment prospect for vet techs has never been better. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for these professionals is expected to increase by 52% through 2020, significantly faster than the national average. If you’re looking for a career change and want to do something that will have a meaningful impact on people’s lives, working as a vet tech could be a great fit.

Challenging, yet rewarding

Although you won’t have to worry about performing any surgery, you might need to have a strong stomach. As with any clinical field, working as a vet tech can be a little messy, depending on what’s wrong with the animal. As sad as it is to say, no matter how skilled the vet, sometimes people’s pets don’t make it, so if the movie “All Dogs Go To Heaven” makes you cry every time, maybe another line of work would be a better fit. However, if you’re looking for a career with solid prospects and the chance to do something meaningful, veterinary technician is an excellent way to do it.

What is it about working as a vet tech that appeals to you? Let us know in the comment space below.

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Don’t be afraid of leaving one training program for another

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Don’t be afraid of leaving one training program for another

In case you haven’t noticed by now, life doesn’t always go according to plan. You’ve surely made decisions you’ve come to regret down the line – but that’s OK. You can beat yourself up over the choices you’ve made, or you can learn and move on to making the right decisions.

When it comes to technical schools, you may feel like you’ve located an institution that’s right up your alley. Maybe the instructors at that electrician school are top notch, or the equipment used by students in a certain welding training program is among the best currently on the market.

You’re so impressed you enroll in technical training programs, only to regret your decision after a few weeks. How you choose to fix this problem is ultimately up to you. Just remember, there is nothing wrong with leaving one program for another.

Change is natural

Think about your reasons for enrolling in technical schools. Are you looking for an alternative to your current career? Do you want to advance your skill set so you can get a better job? Will the training you receive give purpose to your life? The one thing all these questions have in common is change – a natural part of life.

People are meant to change, so don’t feel like you’re chained to a particular program just because you have started taking classes.

Should you stay or should you go?

If you believe you’re in the wrong technical program for you, all kinds of thoughts are sure to rush through your head. Since you’re already taking classes, you may think it’s best just to stick it out and maybe things will get better. While this is always an option, if you feel this way, you’re likely to just waste your time and money. Don’t be afraid to admit you made a mistake and leave a program so you can find the one you were destined to be in.

Aside from that gut feeling, there are a few other ways you can tell that it may be time to switch programs. Maybe you’re flying through your training and classes are way too easy. While it’s fun to think that you’re a genius, in actuality, a program may just be too simple for you. You could be training for a profession that’ll leave you feeling bored, so pay attention to your courses’ level of difficulty.

At the same time, don’t feel like classes that are too difficult are just as good a reason to ditch a program. Be honest with yourself when you’re thinking about your training. Do the massage therapy classes you take leave you feeling drained at the end of the day, or even stressed out? This could be a good reason to consider a different course of study. However, if classes are just a bit difficult because you’re not putting in the proper amount of effort, there’s no reason to start looking for a different technical school.

If you thought the technical training program you were enrolled in wasn’t the right fit for you, what would you do? Look for something else or stay the course? Let us know in the comment space below.

5 questions to ask yourself before going to veterinary technician schools

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

5 questions to ask yourself before going to veterinary technician schools

Maybe you lost a beloved pet to an illness when you were a child. Or perhaps the thought of an animal in pain is too much for you to bear. While there are many reasons why you may be interested in enrolling in veterinary technician schools, are you truly ready for a career as a veterinary technician?

Unfortunately, you’ll need more than a passion for animals and a big heart to thrive in this field. Before you invest your time and money in veterinary schools, ask yourself these five questions to figure out if you’re really meant to be a veterinary technician.

1. Are you comfortable working with animals?

While this question may seem like something of a no-brainer, you need to think about the ways in which working with animals differs from simply playing with them. Playing fetch with a dog is easy. Figuring out which part of a cat’s body is in pain, however, or seeing how a dog is responding to anesthesia, is not as simple. As a veterinary technician, you’ll not only have to be compassionate, but be able to hone in on those little details.

Being a nurse or doctor is no walk in the park, but at least human patients can tell you how they’re doing. With animals, you won’t be so lucky. So before you enroll in a veterinary technician program, make sure you’re up for the challenges you’ll face.

2. What types of animals do you want to work with?

Just because you’re a veterinary technician doesn’t mean you’ll get to work with any animal. If you think this career is your chance to meet lions and tigers and bears, you’re entering the wrong line of work. While veterinary technicians can find work at zoos, they typically assist licensed veterinarians at animal hospitals and private clinics. In these settings, you’ll work with the usual household pets, including dogs and cats, as well as smaller animals, such as birds, mice and rats. It’s also not uncommon for them to treat farm animals, like cattle, pigs and sheep.

3. Do you work well with others?

If you’re a veterinary technician, you’ll be working under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. That means you’ll not only be taking orders, but working with others. Beyond doing what your supervisors tell you to do, you’ll be expected to work with owners who are seeking treatment for their pets. As you speak to these individuals, you’ll have to remain attentive and understanding, since some are likely to be distraught over the condition of their beloved pets.

4. Are you willing to learn new skills?

While you’ll receive the training you need for this profession in veterinary technician schools, fields like these are always changing thanks to new technologies and medical breakthroughs. As a result, anyone who expects to acquire all of the knowledge and skills they will require throughout life in one program may be in for a surprise. Instead, keep an open mind as you advance in your career, picking up new and exciting skills along the way.

5. What are your long-term career goals?

If you hope to one day become a licensed veterinarian, becoming a veterinary technician is not the best way to go about it. In order to become a veterinary technician, you’ll typically work your way through a two-year program. Veterinarians, on the other hand, spend around four years in a doctor of veterinary medicine program at a college of veterinary medicine. So if becoming a veterinarian is your main goal, you’re going to want to rethink your career path.

Can you think of any other questions prospective veterinary technicians should ask themselves? If you can, share them with us in the comment space below.

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Questions to ask before signing up at technical training schools

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Choosing to return to school and switch careers can be one of the most exciting decisions you’ll ever make. Training to do something you’re interested in is a great way to start a new chapter in your life and improve your situation. However, signing up at technical schools is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. Here are some questions you may want to ask before making any decisions.

How long does the training program last?

This might seem like an obvious question, but it’s an important one. If you’re planning to work fewer hours to fit your studies in, you need to know exactly how long the training program will take to complete. Some technical training schools may provide this information, but some won’t.

Ask your admissions adviser about full- and part-time attendance options. If you can study part-time, you won’t need to drop as many hours, but it’ll also take you longer to complete your qualification. Similarly, if you need to drop out of the workforce to focus on your studies full-time, you need to know how long you can expect to train for so you can plan your finances around it.

Are there any placement programs or career services available?

This is another important question, and one that a lot of people overlook. It doesn’t matter how good your training program is, or how talented you are – competition for work can be fierce, especially in today’s uncertain economy.

Career services and placement programs are an excellent way to get your foot in the door at a local company. Fortunately, many technical training schools offer these programs to students, especially in fields like welding, and a lot of schools work closely with local businesses and employers. If your school doesn’t offer this kind of service, ask your admissions adviser about internships or apprenticeships.

Is the training program accredited?

Depending on the type of work you want to do, accreditation and licensing can be really important. In professions such as electrical engineering, licensing is essential to either finding a job or setting up your own company.

Your admissions adviser will be able to tell you if the training program you’re interested in is accredited or not, and what this means for your employment prospects. If you need a license to practice when you finish the program, ask if the school can put you in touch with accreditation and licensing bodies, and if exam fees are included in the cost of the program.

What kind of facilities does the school have?

Equipment and facilities tend to be a talking point for most technical schools, but it’s still something to ask your adviser before you make any decisions. Talk to your admissions adviser about whether you’ll be taught how to use industry-standard gear before you sign up.

Can you think of any other useful questions to ask before committing to technical schools? Share them with us in the comment space below.

Healthcare jobs are on the rise – here’s why

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Healthcare jobs are on the rise – here’s why

Do you have your sights set on a job within the healthcare industry? If you do, you may just be in luck. In case you weren’t already familiar, this medical sector is booming, with new opportunities expected for professionals throughout the industry.

As you set out to find the medical technical schools that are right for you, it never hurts to know what the employment conditions in your prospective field are like, as well as the reasons behind them.

Thank the baby boomers

If you set out to land a job in the healthcare sector and manage to get hired pretty quickly, you may have the baby boomer generation to thank. As more members of this generation reach retirement age, their need for medical services is sure to increase. As a result, the healthcare industry is going to need a lot more workers in order to service all of these potential patients’ needs.

Just how big of a burden will the baby boomers place on the healthcare industry? In 2010, CNBC reported that the oldest members of this generation were 78 million strong.

Here are just three healthcare professions that are feeling the effects of an aging boomer population and what it means for jobs in these fields.

Medical assistants

If you want to become a medical assistant, you’ll typically end up working in healthcare providers’ offices where you’ll complete clinical and administrative tasks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this profession is among the healthcare jobs that is expected to experience an increase in job opportunities through 2020. Overall, openings for medical assistants will rise by 31% in the years ahead.

This faster-than-average growth is, of course, related to the rising number of baby boomers. The BLS says that these individuals’ need for preventive medical services is what’s driving the greater need for new workers in this field.

Nursing aides

While the increase in job opportunities that’s expected for nursing aides is not as high as the one projected for medical assistants, it’s still faster than the average of all occupations. Overall, the BLS expects a 20% growth in new positions through 2020. These professionals, who provide basic care to patients in various healthcare settings, will be needed even more as the nation’s elderly population expands.

Pharmacy technicians

As a pharmacy technician, you’ll typically work in hospitals or retail pharmacies, where you’ll help pharmacists fill prescriptions. A 32% increase in job opportunities is expected in this field through 2020, according to the BLS. More openings are due in part to aging baby boomers’ need for prescription medications that can improve their quality of life.

Do you plan on entering any one of these fields after completing medical technical schools? If so, which one and why? Let us know about your future in the healthcare industry in the comment space below.

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