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What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges
After you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech colleges to choose from in the Lake Havasu City AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Lake Havasu City residence. If you are willing to relocate 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 must consider in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Lake Havasu City AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Lake Havasu City Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Lake Havasu City AZ after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Lake Havasu City AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 usually 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 back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student 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 a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative 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 might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.