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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Paradise Valley AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community 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 Paradise Valley residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may adequately compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in getting 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 many Paradise Valley AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist technician 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 work experience. This requirement may be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Paradise Valley AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Paradise Valley AZ after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without some support. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Paradise Valley AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Paradise Valley AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.