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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech programs to pick from in the Albertville AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Albertville residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree 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 can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Albertville AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Albertville Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Albertville AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Albertville AL residence. Individuals who have decided 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate 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 as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Albertville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.