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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you want to earn 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 options. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to pick from in the Anchorage AK area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Anchorage home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you need to consider in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Anchorage AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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 a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Anchorage AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Anchorage AK upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any support. Ask if the schools you are looking at 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 field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Anchorage AK home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anchorage AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.