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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech schools to pick from in the Apache Junction AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Apache Junction residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other factors that you need to consider in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have earned 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 provide a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Apache Junction AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This requirement may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Apache Junction Arizona area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Apache Junction AZ upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without some help. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Apache Junction AZ home. Students who have opted 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student 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 converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Apache Junction AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.