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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Alexander City AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Alexander City residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national 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 complete superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Alexander City AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician 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 schools have a working relationship with Alexander City AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Alexander City AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Alexander City AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alexander City AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.