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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you would like to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to select from in the Florence AZ area and throughout the Country, 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 undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Florence residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a regional or national 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 screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Florence AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical 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 a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Florence Arizona area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Florence AZ after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Florence AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk 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 must confirm that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.