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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Sylacauga AL area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Sylacauga residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other variables that you should take into consideration so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Sylacauga AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Sylacauga AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Sylacauga AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Sylacauga AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Sylacauga AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.