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What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Courses
After you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are many pharmacy tech colleges to choose from in the Fort Payne AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Fort Payne residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of 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 provide a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Fort Payne AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This condition can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Fort Payne Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Fort Payne AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any help. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Fort Payne AL residence. Those who have chosen 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fort Payne AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.