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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once 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 narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to select from in the Trussville AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Trussville residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you should take into consideration in order to effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Trussville AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Trussville AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Trussville AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field 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 School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Trussville AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Trussville AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.