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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are many pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Alabaster AL area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Alabaster residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Alabaster AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This condition may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of 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 in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Alabaster Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Alabaster AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any help. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Alabaster AL residence. Those who have decided 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable 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 classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Alabaster AL area, verify that they are available. 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.