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What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs
Once you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech programs to choose from in the Gadsden AL area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Gadsden residence. 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 several other issues that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded 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 colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Gadsden 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 pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to prep 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 condition may be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Gadsden Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Gadsden AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without any support. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Gadsden AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Gadsden AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.