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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech programs to select from in the Florence AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Florence residence. If you are able 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 need to consider so that you may properly compare schools. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Florence AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech school 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 job experience. This condition can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with 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 technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Florence AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Florence AZ upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Florence AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.