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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have decided whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacy technician schools to pick from in the Foley AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Foley residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you must consider so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Foley 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 required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Foley AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Foley AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Foley AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Foley AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.