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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy tech colleges to select from in the Prichard AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Prichard residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Prichard 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 required in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Prichard AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Prichard AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without any support. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Prichard 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 local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Prichard AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.