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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to pick from in the Oxford AL area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Oxford residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you need to consider so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Oxford AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Oxford AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Oxford AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some help. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Oxford AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable 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 want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oxford AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.