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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs
Once you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to select from in the Dothan AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Dothan residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure 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 get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Dothan AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This condition may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Dothan Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Dothan AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any help. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Dothan AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.