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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have determined whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the Eloy AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Eloy home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you should consider in order to adequately compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Eloy AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition may be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work 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 satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Eloy Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Eloy AZ upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Eloy AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Eloy AZ area, make certain that they are available. 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.