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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges
Once you have determined whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician schools to pick from in the Pell City AL area and throughout the USA, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare 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 budget and commuting distance from your Pell City home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you should consider so that you may properly compare schools. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Pell City AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This condition can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work 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. Check if the colleges have associations with Pell City Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Pell City AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Pell City AL home. Individuals who have decided 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 concern. Something 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pell City AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.