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What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs
Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech schools to select from in the Montgomery AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Montgomery 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 factors 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 ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Montgomery AL employers 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 numerous employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Montgomery Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Montgomery AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, 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 field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Montgomery AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Montgomery AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.