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Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges
After you have determined whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Gadsden AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Gadsden home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in securing 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 Gadsden AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification may be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Gadsden Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first job in Gadsden AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, 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 field creating 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 School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Gadsden AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may 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 for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gadsden AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.