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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Schools
After you have decided whether you wish 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 narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the Prattville AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Prattville home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you must consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Prattville AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Prattville Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Prattville AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication 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 refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Prattville AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Prattville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.