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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Courses
After you have determined whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Mobile AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Mobile home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you should consider so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade 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). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Mobile AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Mobile Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Mobile AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement 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 appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Mobile AL residence. Students who have opted 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mobile AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.