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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Hartselle AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Hartselle residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you should take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of 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 comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Hartselle AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical 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 an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Hartselle AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Hartselle AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Find out 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 profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Hartselle AL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hartselle AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.