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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Courses
Once you have determined whether you wish to obtain 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 options. There are many pharmacy tech schools to pick from in the Tuscaloosa AL area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Tuscaloosa 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 a number of other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among 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 obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Tuscaloosa AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways 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 practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Tuscaloosa Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Tuscaloosa AL after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any support. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Tuscaloosa AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tuscaloosa AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.