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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Athens AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Athens residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you must consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Athens AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of job 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 technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Athens Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Athens AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Athens AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Athens AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.