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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech colleges to choose from in the Selma AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Selma 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 issues that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee 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 might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Selma 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 employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This qualification can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Selma AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Selma AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Selma AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Selma AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.