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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Gilbert AZ area and throughout the Country, so you need to create 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 programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Gilbert residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you should consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded 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 comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you get a superior education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Gilbert AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech school should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with 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 certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Gilbert AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Gilbert AZ upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing 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 college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Gilbert AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Gilbert AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.