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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Courses
Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician schools to pick from in the Mesa AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Mesa home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you should consider in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have earned 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 furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Mesa AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech school should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This qualification can be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train 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 satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Mesa Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Mesa AZ upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Mesa AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mesa AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.