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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the Tuscaloosa AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Tuscaloosa residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Tuscaloosa AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Tuscaloosa AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Tuscaloosa AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without any help. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Tuscaloosa AL residence. Individuals who have opted 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 bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit 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 prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tuscaloosa AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.