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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools
Once you have determined whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, 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 numerous pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Gilbert AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Gilbert home. 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 many other factors that you must consider in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacist tech 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). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a complete quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Gilbert AZ pharmacies 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 all states, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Gilbert Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Gilbert AZ after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Gilbert AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to 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 way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Gilbert AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.