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Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools
After you have decided whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, 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 numerous pharmacy technician programs to select from in the Northport AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Northport home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other factors 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 decision.
Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Northport AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School 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 technician school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Northport Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Northport AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some help. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Northport AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Northport AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.