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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to pick from in the Flagstaff AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Flagstaff home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Flagstaff AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Flagstaff AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Flagstaff AZ upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without some support. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Flagstaff AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Flagstaff AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.