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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have determined whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Albertville AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Albertville home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete superior education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Albertville AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with 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 tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Albertville Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Albertville AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Albertville AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical 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 talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Albertville AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.