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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have decided whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech schools to pick from in the Coolidge AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Coolidge residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you must consider in order to properly compare colleges. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Coolidge 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 required in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Coolidge AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial position in Coolidge AZ upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some assistance. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, find out 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 large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Coolidge AZ home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Coolidge AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.