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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have determined whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to choose from in the Center Point AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Center Point residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Center Point AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated 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 1 year of job experience. This qualification may be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Center Point Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Center Point AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Center Point AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Center Point AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours 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 illness, work or family emergencies.