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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech programs to pick from in the Flagstaff AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Flagstaff home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you should consider in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Flagstaff AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech school should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This qualification can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Flagstaff Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Flagstaff AZ after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some support. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Flagstaff AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Flagstaff AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.