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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have determined whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Hoover AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Hoover home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you need to consider so that you may properly compare schools. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Don't forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Hoover AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition may be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Hoover Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Hoover AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Hoover AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to 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 far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hoover AL area, check 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 need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.