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Points to Ask Pharmacist Technician Courses
Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Fairbanks AK area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Fairbanks home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other factors that you should consider in order to adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Fairbanks AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Fairbanks Alaska area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Fairbanks AK upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without any help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Fairbanks AK home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairbanks AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.