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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges
After you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to choose from in the Marana AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Marana home. If you are willing 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 issues that you need to take into consideration so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Marana AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Marana Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Marana AZ upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without any support. Ask 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 indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Marana AZ residence. Those 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big 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 probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse 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 must confirm that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.