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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to select from in the Selma AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Selma home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you need to consider so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Selma AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Selma Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first job in Selma AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some help. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Selma AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Selma AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.