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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have decided 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 start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech programs to choose from in the Fountain Hills AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Fountain Hills residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you should consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have earned 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 certified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Fountain Hills AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Fountain Hills Arizona area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Fountain Hills AZ upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any support. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Fountain Hills AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fountain Hills AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.