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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
Once you have determined whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician colleges to choose from in the Avondale 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 vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Avondale residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Avondale AZ pharmacies 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 all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition may be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Avondale Arizona area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Avondale AZ upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Avondale AZ residence. Students who have decided 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Avondale AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.