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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to select from in the Athens AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Athens residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other factors that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it might help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Athens AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Athens AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Athens AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without any support. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable 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 travelling distance of their Athens AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy tech program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Athens AL area, check that they are available. 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 procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.