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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
Once you have decided whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the Madison AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Madison residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among 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 comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Madison AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This condition can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Madison Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Madison AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some help. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Madison AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 generally 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Madison AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.