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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 college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Troy AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Troy residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you must consider in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Troy AL employers 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 all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Troy AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Troy AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, 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 generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Troy AL home. Those who have decided 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.