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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have decided whether you want to obtain 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 options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech programs to choose from in the Mountain Brook AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Mountain Brook residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you need to consider in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have obtained 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 certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Mountain Brook AL employers 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 mandated in all states, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician program should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Mountain Brook AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Mountain Brook AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any support. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Mountain Brook AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 generally 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 class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Mountain Brook AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.