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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you want to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech programs to choose from in the Maricopa AZ area and throughout the United States, 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 colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Maricopa home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other variables that you must consider in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Maricopa 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 required in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Maricopa Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Maricopa AZ upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Maricopa AZ home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit 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 sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Maricopa AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.