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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have determined whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the Anthem AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Anthem residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you should consider so that you may effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Anthem AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Anthem Arizona area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Anthem AZ upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out 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 demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Anthem AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Anthem AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.