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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
After you have determined whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech colleges to choose from in the Casa Grande AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Casa Grande home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you should consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Casa Grande AZ pharmacies 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 numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition may be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Casa Grande AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Casa Grande AZ after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without some support. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Casa Grande AZ residence. Individuals 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 choose 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Casa Grande AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.