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Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Decatur AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Decatur home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other variables that you must consider in order to properly compare colleges. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs 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 evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Decatur AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Decatur Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Decatur AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without some help. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Decatur AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average 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 a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Decatur AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.