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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
Once you have determined whether you want to obtain 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 target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Cullman AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Cullman home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are many other variables that you should consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a regional or national 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 verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Cullman AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This requirement may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have a working relationship with Cullman Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Cullman AL after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any support. Find out if the colleges 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 a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Cullman AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly 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 back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cullman AL area, make certain 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 have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.