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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician programs to pick from in the Muscle Shoals AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Muscle Shoals home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you should take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired 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 certified to furnish a complete quality education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Muscle Shoals AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Muscle Shoals AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Muscle Shoals AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Muscle Shoals AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want 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 instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Muscle Shoals AL area, confirm 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 have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.