For you to be a veterinary technician, you must have a deep compassion for animals. However, this is not all that is required to be successful in the profession.
If you truly want to excel in your career, you will need to go above and beyond to obtain the knowledge, skills and hands-on experiences necessary for the job.
Veterinary technology programs consist of both general education and career-related courses that are specially designed to prepare you for the demands of a vet tech position. During your program, you will participate in a variety of classroom lectures, science labs and clinical training.
With all of the coursework you will need to complete, you may get a bit frustrated at times. However, there are some things you can do to manage your time more effectively and get through your veterinary technology program with ease. If this sounds great to you, read on to learn about some useful tips for veterinary technician students today.
Take Organized Notes
Notes can be valuable when studying for an exam or final. Unfortunately, many people simply do not know how to take notes.
Notes often end up illegible or so jumbled together that it is almost impossible to find anything. When taking notes, divide your paper into two columns.
Make one column about two inches wide and the other column about five to six inches wide. Use the bigger column for regular notes that you want to remember. Use the smaller column to jot down such things as chapters, headings, page numbers or textbooks that you think you may need to reference later.
Keeping your notes this way will make it much easier for you to scan them before an exam or final. Additionally, you can use this method to take notes during classroom lectures or while reading one of your textbooks. Finally, it is essential to note that you should never throw your notes away. They can be quite valuable when studying for your VTNE as well.
Taking Notes with a Laptop
Some students find that it is much easier for them to type their notes than to write them down. This is probably due to the fact that many people today can type faster than they can write. In any case, if you choose to take notes using your laptop, make sure that you get your instructor’s approval first.
There are a couple of ways for you to use your laptop in a classroom. One way is to simply type your notes into Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. However, another method is to set your laptop up in such a way that you can video record your entire lecture and review it later. Again, be sure to obtain your instructor’s approval before video recording a lecture.
Use a Digital Recorder
If you are the type of person who cannot keep up with note-taking during lectures, do not fret! By using a digital recorder during lectures, you can take notes at your own pace after class. There are many places where you can find affordable digital recorders that have enough power to capture your lectures clearly.
This method is also great if you simply want to spend your time in class listening to your professor rather than taking notes. However, in either case, you will want to be sure that you transcribe your notes soon after each lecture. In this way, there will be no worries about losing the information.
Participate in Study Groups
Many people find that participating in study groups can be quite beneficial when trying to get through vet tech school. Gather together a few fellow classmates and set aside two or three days a week to review classwork and prepare for exams. Forming a study group will allow you to work through challenges, share viewpoints and vent if necessary.
Some other things that you may find useful include online vet tech forums and community groups. By joining these groups, you can meet a variety of people including other veterinary technician students, recent graduates and working vet techs. Participating in these types of groups can be a great way to learn new perspectives or clarify any material that you do not understand.
Create Practice Tests
Many people find it useful to take practice tests before they sit for their actual exams. A popular way to do this is to review your notes and jot down some of the more significant points. Make up questions and answers pertaining to these points. Write the questions on one side of some note cards and the answers on the other.
There may also be some practice tests in your textbooks or online. If so, you can use them to create your questions and answers. After you have created your practice test note cards, you can go through them one by one trying to answer the questions. For questions you are unsure of, set the cards aside and review them later.
Obtain as Much Experience as Possible
While you are completing your veterinary technician program, try to obtain as much relevant experience as possible. This can include a variety of things such as paid employment, volunteer work, relevant hobbies, internships/externships and memberships to relevant organizations.
Of course, you may only have a few hours a week to devote to a job, volunteer work or hobby. However, any type of relevant experience you can gain before you graduate from your program can go a long way when applying for a vet tech position. Just as with any other career today, applicants with the most experience and qualifications are often the ones who get the jobs.
Never Cram for Exams
It is never a good idea to cram for exams. Not only can this be detrimental to your health over time, but it is not an effective way to retain information.
You should review your notes every night instead. Take about 30 minutes each night to look over your notes. Maybe you would like to rewrite them, type them up or just read them over. It does not matter what you do so long as you spend some time reviewing them.
When you do have an exam scheduled, review your notes as you would any other day. Do not stay up late going over notes. Go to bed at a decent hour so that you will feel refreshed in the morning. Additionally, be sure to eat breakfast before your exam. While you are eating, you can review your notes one last time.
College courses and exams can place a lot of stress on students. Aspiring veterinary technicians must learn a great deal of complex information, which makes effective studying a necessity. To make college life easier, you will find some of the most useful tips for veterinary technician students detailed above.