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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech programs to pick from in the Sylacauga AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Sylacauga residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you should consider in order to effectively compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and vocational 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 evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Sylacauga AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Sylacauga Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Sylacauga AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Sylacauga AL home. Individuals who have chosen 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Sylacauga AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.