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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Lake Havasu City AZ area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Lake Havasu City residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you need to take into consideration so that you may adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College 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). 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 solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm 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. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Lake Havasu City AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Lake Havasu City AZ after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without some support. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.