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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
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 attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the Albertville AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Albertville residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded 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 superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Albertville AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Albertville AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first job in Albertville AL after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some help. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, 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 large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Albertville AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average 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 talk with a few 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 confirm that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Albertville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.