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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to select from in the Jacksonville 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 addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Jacksonville residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Jacksonville 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 mandated in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of 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 technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Jacksonville AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Jacksonville AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Jacksonville AL residence. Individuals who have decided 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. 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student 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 speak 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 pharmacist tech school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Jacksonville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.