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Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech schools to choose from in the Mountain Brook AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Mountain Brook home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other variables that you need to take into consideration so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of 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 furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Mountain Brook 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 required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This condition may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Mountain Brook Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Mountain Brook AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without some help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field 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 School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Mountain Brook AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mountain Brook AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.