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Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the Vestavia Hills AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Vestavia Hills residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Vestavia Hills AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Vestavia Hills Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Vestavia Hills AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Vestavia Hills AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy tech college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Vestavia Hills AL area, make sure 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, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.