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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you wish to attain 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 numerous pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Enterprise AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Enterprise home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national 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 additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it might assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Enterprise 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 every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Enterprise AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Enterprise AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some assistance. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, find out 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 demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Enterprise AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Enterprise AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.