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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech colleges to pick from in the Glendale AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Glendale home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Glendale AZ pharmacies 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 every state, but many employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This requirement may be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate 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 Glendale AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Glendale AZ after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some help. Ask if the schools you are looking at 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 field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Glendale AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, confirm that they are available. 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 need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.