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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have decided whether you would like to attain 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 many pharmacy technician schools to select from in the Dothan AL area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Dothan residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Dothan AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement can be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Dothan AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Dothan AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Dothan AL home. Individuals 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually 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 person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.