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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Athens AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Athens home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you should take into consideration in order to effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional 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 quality education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Athens AL pharmacies 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 desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Athens Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Athens AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some help. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Athens AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Athens AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.