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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Center Point AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Center Point 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 a number of other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don't forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Center Point AL pharmacies 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 required in all states, but numerous employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech school should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Center Point AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Center Point AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Find out 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 indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Center Point AL home. Individuals who have chosen 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. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Center Point AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.