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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Auburn AL area and throughout the USA, so you should 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 budget and driving distance from your Auburn home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you must consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don't forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Auburn AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of 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 technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Auburn Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Auburn AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement 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 profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Auburn AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer 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 instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Auburn AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.