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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, 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 pharmacy tech colleges to select 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 colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Gardendale home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you should consider so that you may effectively compare schools. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Gardendale 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 all states, but many employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Gardendale Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Gardendale AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any help. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Gardendale AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might 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 far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gardendale AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.