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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
After you have determined whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Gardendale AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Gardendale residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have earned 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 verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Gardendale AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This condition may be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Gardendale Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Gardendale AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Ask 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 college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Gardendale AL home. Students 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Gardendale AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.