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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Courses
Once you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the Fairhope AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Fairhope home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Fairhope 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 every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition may be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Fairhope Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Fairhope AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some support. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Fairhope AL residence. Those who have decided 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student 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 enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairhope AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.