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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
After you have determined whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech programs to choose from in the Mesa AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to 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 schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Mesa home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you need to take into consideration so that you may properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Mesa AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Mesa AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Mesa AZ upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some support. Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Mesa AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mesa AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.