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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Courses
Once you have determined whether you would like 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 pharmacy technician schools to pick from in the Florence AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Florence residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may properly compare schools. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among 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 comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Florence AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways 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 a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the programs have a working relationship with Florence Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Florence AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some help. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Florence AL home. Individuals 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 concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Florence AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.