It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the Fort Payne AL area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Fort Payne residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you need to consider in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Fort Payne AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get 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 in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Fort Payne AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Fort Payne AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Fort Payne AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical 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 converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fort Payne AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.