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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Courses
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Hoover AL area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Hoover residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Hoover AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Hoover Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Hoover AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some support. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Hoover AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often 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 person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching 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 a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hoover AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.