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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you want to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to choose from in the Gadsden AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Gadsden residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Gadsden AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Gadsden AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Gadsden AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Gadsden AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Gadsden AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.