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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Courses
Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are many pharmacist tech colleges to choose from in the East Florence AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your East Florence residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you need to consider in order to adequately compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many East Florence AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician program 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 College Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work 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 satisfy the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with East Florence Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in East Florence AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some support. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their East Florence AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the East Florence AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.