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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Courses
After you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the Hartselle AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Hartselle home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other issues that you need to take into consideration so that you may effectively compare schools. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Hartselle 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 mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition may be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Hartselle Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Hartselle AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Hartselle AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to 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 way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy technician college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hartselle AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.