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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges
After you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech colleges to select from in the Sylacauga AL area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Sylacauga home. 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 a number of other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among 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 offer a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it might assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Sylacauga AL pharmacies 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 every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Sylacauga Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Sylacauga AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Sylacauga AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Sylacauga AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.