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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you want 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 programs to choose from in the Juneau AK area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Juneau home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you need to consider so that you may adequately compare programs. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Juneau AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Juneau AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Juneau AK after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any support. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing 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 signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Juneau AK residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical 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 some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.