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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have determined whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacy tech programs to choose from in the Bessemer AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Bessemer residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other issues that you need to consider in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of 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 verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist 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 many Bessemer AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Bessemer Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Bessemer AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some support. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Bessemer AL residence. Those 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering 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 an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bessemer AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.