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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to choose from in the Talladega AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Talladega home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many 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). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive superior 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 check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it might assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Talladega AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied through 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 tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Talladega AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first job in Talladega AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Talladega AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Talladega AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.