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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have determined whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech programs to choose from in the Pelham AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Pelham residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you need to consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Pelham AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous employers desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This condition can be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Pelham Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Pelham AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any help. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask 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 sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Pelham AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher 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 a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pelham AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.