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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have determined whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist technician colleges to pick from in the Anniston AL area and throughout the USA, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Anniston residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Anniston AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to get 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 in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Anniston AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that initial position in Anniston AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any assistance. Find out 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 field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Anniston 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 local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance 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 last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Anniston AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.