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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have determined whether you wish to earn 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 options. There are numerous pharmacist tech programs to pick from in the Nogales AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Nogales home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may adequately compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Nogales AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work 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 meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Nogales AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Nogales AZ upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without any support. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Nogales AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Nogales AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.