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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Anniston AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Anniston residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other variables that you need to consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Anniston AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician school should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This qualification can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Anniston Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Anniston AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Anniston AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anniston AL area, check that they are offered. 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.