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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
After you have decided whether you wish to attain 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 alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician schools to select from in the Alabaster AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Alabaster residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you should consider in order to properly compare colleges. The questions below 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 technician colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it might help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Alabaster AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech school should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Alabaster Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Alabaster AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Alabaster AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on 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 opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alabaster AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.