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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Courses
Once you have determined whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacy tech programs to pick from in the Fairhope AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Fairhope home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you should consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Fairhope AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many employers prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get 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 a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Fairhope Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Fairhope AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Fairhope AL residence. Individuals 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairhope AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.