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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools
Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Prichard AL area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Prichard residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you must take into consideration in order to effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Prichard AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician program should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This requirement can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Prichard Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Prichard AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Prichard AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately choose can offer 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 Prichard AL area, check 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 have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.