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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools
After you have determined whether you want to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Enterprise AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Enterprise home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you must consider in order to 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 School Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Enterprise AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This condition can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Enterprise Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Enterprise AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance 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 creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Enterprise AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Enterprise AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.