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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have determined whether you want to attain 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 narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician schools to pick from in the Marana AZ area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Marana home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you should take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Marana AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This qualification can be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Marana AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Marana AZ after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some help. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Marana AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind 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. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some 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 confirm that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, check that they are offered. 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.