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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to pick from in the Fairbanks AK area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Fairbanks residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician 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). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Fairbanks AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Fairbanks AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first job in Fairbanks AK after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Fairbanks AK home. Students who have chosen 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairbanks AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.