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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have decided whether you would like to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician schools to choose from in the Pelham AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Pelham residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you get a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Pelham AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech program should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This qualification may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work 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 meet the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Pelham AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Pelham AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication 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 employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Pelham AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pelham AL area, verify 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.