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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Courses
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech colleges to choose from in the Hartselle AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Hartselle home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Hartselle 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 a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This condition can be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Hartselle Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that first job in Hartselle AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Hartselle AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly 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 prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hartselle AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.