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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Vestavia Hills AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Vestavia Hills residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded 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 schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Vestavia Hills AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical 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 an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have a working relationship with Vestavia Hills AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Vestavia Hills AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Vestavia Hills AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student 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 a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Vestavia Hills AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.