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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to choose from in the Alexander City AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Alexander City home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you must consider so that you may properly compare colleges. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Alexander City AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Alexander City Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Alexander City AL after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Alexander City AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alexander City AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.