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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
After you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to pick from in the Avondale AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Avondale home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national 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 offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Avondale AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech school should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Avondale AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Avondale AZ upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any help. Ask if the colleges you are researching 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 college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Avondale AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Avondale AZ area, verify that they are available. 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.