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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech programs to select from in the Calera AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Calera residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected 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 comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Calera AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prep 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 requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Calera AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Calera AL after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult task without some help. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Calera AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Calera AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.