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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to choose from in the Juneau AK area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Juneau residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Juneau AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college 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 work experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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. Check if the programs have associations with Juneau Alaska area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that first job in Juneau AK upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Juneau AK residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.