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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Courses
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician schools to choose from in the Huntsville AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Huntsville residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to take into consideration so that you may properly compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national 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 screened and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Huntsville 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 required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Huntsville Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Huntsville AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without some help. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand 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 college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Huntsville AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Huntsville AL area, make sure that they are available. 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 work, illness or family emergencies.