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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have determined whether you wish 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 narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist technician programs to pick from in the Mobile AL area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Mobile home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you should consider in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national 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 complete superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. 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 organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Mobile AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This requirement may be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Mobile AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Mobile AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting task without any support. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Mobile AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for 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 prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mobile AL area, make sure 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 need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.