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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech programs to select from in the Montgomery AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Montgomery residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national 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 certified to offer a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Montgomery AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain 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 fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Montgomery Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Montgomery AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without any help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing 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 an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Montgomery AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Montgomery AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.