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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Bessemer AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Bessemer 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 a number of other variables that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have acquired 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 certified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Don't forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Bessemer AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Bessemer Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Bessemer AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Bessemer AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable 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 prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bessemer AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.