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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Green Valley AZ area and throughout the USA, 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 initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Green Valley residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you must consider in order to adequately compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Green Valley AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Green Valley Arizona area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first job in Green Valley AZ after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Green Valley AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Green Valley AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.