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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech schools to select from in the Ozark AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Ozark residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other variables that you must consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Ozark AL employers 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 every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This condition may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Ozark AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that first job in Ozark AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging task without any support. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask 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 appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Ozark AL residence. Those 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ozark AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.