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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Phenix City AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Phenix City home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete quality education. Online schools may also 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 together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Phenix City AL pharmacies 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 many employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain 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 in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Phenix City AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first job in Phenix City AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without any help. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Phenix City AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Phenix City AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.