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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the Dothan AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Dothan residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of 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 offer a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Dothan AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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 a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Dothan Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Dothan AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging task without some help. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Dothan AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.