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What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs
Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Huntsville AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Huntsville residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you should consider in order to properly compare colleges. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it might assist in getting financial aid 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 Huntsville AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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 an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Huntsville Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Huntsville AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Huntsville AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Huntsville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.