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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain 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 narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Talladega AL area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Talladega residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacy tech 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). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Talladega 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 required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Talladega Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Talladega AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any support. Find out 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 school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Talladega AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Talladega AL area, verify that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.