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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to pick from in the Gardendale AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Gardendale residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges 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). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Gardendale AL pharmacies 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 all states, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Gardendale AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Gardendale AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Gardendale AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gardendale AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.