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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools
Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Maricopa AZ area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Maricopa home. If you are willing to move 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 must take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Maricopa AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech program should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in 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 with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Maricopa Arizona area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Maricopa AZ upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some assistance. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing 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 school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Maricopa AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering 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 a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Maricopa AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.