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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech colleges to choose from in the Millbrook AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Millbrook home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you should take into consideration in order to effectively compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Millbrook AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Millbrook Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Millbrook AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any support. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Millbrook AL home. 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Millbrook AL area, check 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 have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.