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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech programs to choose from in the Apache Junction AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking 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 have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Apache Junction AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician school should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Apache Junction Arizona area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Finding that initial position in Apache Junction AZ after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting task without some help. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher 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 sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Apache Junction AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Apache Junction AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.