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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have determined whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are many pharmacy tech programs to pick from in the Oxford AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Oxford residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and vocational 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 evaluated and certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Oxford AL employers 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 mandated in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech school 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 qualification can be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical 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 fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Oxford Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Oxford AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Oxford AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oxford AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.