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Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the Fairbanks AK area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Fairbanks residence. 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 several other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it might help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate 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 Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Fairbanks Alaska area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Fairbanks AK upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some help. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Fairbanks AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairbanks AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.